Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I am burnt out...what does this mean for you though?

They say that burning the candle at both ends is never good for you.

Well, I've been burning the candle at about four different ends (yes, I have a special candle) and in this last week, it has really caught up to me.

With work, writing (which is also suffering), blogging, reading, socialising and then Christmas, plus certain add on stresses that go with all of that, I am really, really burnt out.

These last couple of days around Christmas have been horrible sleep wise, which is making life horrible. It's time for me to make some huge decisions. I have college coming up in the new year which although is nothing new for this time of year (thank you to the teachers lack of class information that is causing this return), there are so many other things that I want to do.

So where does this blog stand? I really don't know.

I love blogging, I love reading, I love combining the two, but I haven't written a review in nearly a month, although I've been reading here and there it's not nearly as much as my goals. Look at those bull crap Christmas posts I tried passing off last week...that's not me.

I have always aimed for quality over quantity, and I never ever want that to change.

Mentally I am really tired though, everyone has a life behind their blog and sometimes that life demands attention from them every once in a while, but I really don't want to let this go.

I hate excuses, but being a master hypocrite, my current job is really starting to take it's toll on me, not stress wise (I refuse to stress, it's not good for me in major physical ways) but just mentally, I feel tired all of the time and it's starting to really get me down.

My Nanna got me a Zumba (look it up, it's fun!) DVD for Christmas, so I'm hoping some awesome crazy Latin dance moves will perk me back up fact even though it's 10:30pm as I write this, I may go do some right now, hopefully that will tire me out enough that I actually sleep through the night.

So yes, this has been a major whinge fest, no, I'm not sure I got my point across, but I am really too tired to care. I know I am far too tired to be making big decisions at the moment, which is why I'm not going to.

But at least for now, StoryWings, will not be what it once was, it will serve the purpose of being my OCD outlet when it comes to cataloguing my books and what I think of them (if I ever get around to writing those reviews) but the daily posts will stop, the features will stop - I have a New Years Bookie Brunch Party coming up, but after that...well, we'll see what happens.

When I feel better, we'll talk, but for now I am once again taking some time for myself, to rest and recoup

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

To all of my fantastic readers,


I hope your day is full of food and books!

Love from,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 6

It's Christmas Eve!!! Hopefully everyone has had a relaxing day.

Today's caroll I find quite fitting considering the occasion...

And a treat to go with this is:
Milk and Cookies for Santa!

And a couple of Carrots for the reindeer.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 5

It was the last day of work today! 10 days off! WooHoo! On day 5 of my Christmas week I would like to share this caroll:

I absolutely love this song, and I love Christina's version, it gets me all emotional and in the spirit. Seriously, goose bumps and chills every single time.

To go with this beautiful song, I am providing pork and apple sauce sandwiches, because they will always remind me of sitting around the coffee table on Christmas night and having a quiet family dinner after such a big day.
Hopefully this is your last day of work

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 4

Day four of my Christmas week countdown and man I am getting excited at the prospect of 10 days off work (wow, that is so sad).

Today's caroll is:

This is such a beautiful song, and actually relevant considering the war being officially over and so many soldiers coming home.

And to go with today's caroll is this treat:
Because everyone could use a stiff drink on Christmas, this egg nog has some brandy in it, especially if I'm drinking it. I have heard of puting whiskey or rum in it but I have only ever had brandy in mine, much smoother.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 3

It's the third day of the StoryWings Christmas week! And I can tell you now, after the works Christmas lunch I had today...I am going to gain some pounds this Christmas.

Todays caroll is:

Once again, it's a little irrelevant to me as I have never even seen snow in my life, but it's yet another of my favourite carolls

And what shall be accompanying this caroll you ask?
A baked turkey lunch to warm us up! Well, you guys, not me.
Take out the brussel sprouts and this would be perfect! You lot are going to have to go and find your own turkey though...I amy be good all year but when Christmas comes...all bets (and diets) are off :D

I will also post this pic, which I found whilst searching for the above. I'm sorry, but if you tried to serve this measly meal in my'd get lynched.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 2

*sings* On the second day of Christmas....innaccurate I know...but it is the second day of StoryWings Christmas Week!

Todays Christmas caroll is:

So this song is a little inaccurate for me as well...seeing as it doesn't actually snow here...nor is it cold in any way...but hey...I still love it :D

Todays Christmas treat is:
Anyone for chocolate coated nuts?
Seriously...who thought that would be a good idea...regardless they do taste lovely.

Man 1: I have decided that I would like to cover my nuts in chocolate and see what it tastes like.
His friend (who is feeling a little uncomfortable at the moment): Excuse me?!
Man 1: It will be all the rage! Every one will want to eat my chocolate coated nuts!
His friend: Right...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Week!: Day 1

Christmas is seven days Far out where has the time gone.

Being a lover of Christmas, I have decided to share my favourite Christmas carolls with you to help get you in the mood. I will also share with you my favourite Christmas foods...because what is Christmas without food!

So my first Christmas song that I would like to share with you is:

I have been singing this song since the beginning of December, it isn't one of my absolute favourites, but it always reminds me that Christmas is on its way and that's definitely worth a lot if it can get me into the spirit at the start of December.

And my first Christmas treat will be:


I love cherries so much, they are one of my favourite fruits. And they are only in season at Christmas! So they are one of the most perfect Christmas foods out...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review: Revving Her Wild Engines by Cassandre Dayne

Review: Revving Her Wild Engines
Author: Cassandre Dayne
No of Pages: 66
Release Date: 20 February 2011

Stephanie Simon was more than ready to have her most secret and sinful fantasies fulfilled. And the thought of having a torrid affair with David Tyler took her breath away. Unfortunately however, Stephanie and David have never met. Introduced by a friend, they've only conversed via the Internet, where they tell each other their every hidden fantasy. Stephanie's is a wicked tryst on the back of David's motorcycle and a ménage. And as luck would have it, David has the perfect third in mind.

Fuelled by Stephanie's hunger to explore, David sweeps Stephanie off her feet with a wild ride across a pool table in front of his friends and a ménage that leaves her engine revved for more. But both David and Stephanie hold a terrible secret. As they learn about their tragic pasts, neither knows if they can cling to the other for support and find the love and forgiveness they need.

My Thoughts:

There’s good erotic fiction, and then there’s not. Unfortunately Revving Her Wild Engines fell into the pretty horrible section.

Stephanie is traumatised, after battling something terrible that happened in her past for years now, she has decided to take that final step in letting go, no longer being held back by her fears she meets up with a man she has been chatting to for months on the internet. When her and David meet though it is more than just a weekend of wild passion, they connect with each other. The connection running deeper than anything Stephanie has ever felt.

Revving Her Wild Engines sounded like a nice quick, hot read. Something good for curling up with late one night to pass the time before bed. Unfortunately what I got was basically, really horrible book porn. The plot was terrible, the emotion was overly dramatized and the wording was flowery.

Erotic couplings such as this should result in some hot sex and maybe a call back, what I got was declarations of love within the first two days of them meeting. Their first hug was a “tender, loving embrace”. I’m sorry; I don’t care how good the sex was, but no.

The main thing that kept throwing me out of the mood that Dayne was struggling to create was the wording, “moistened her scarlet panties and she resisted the urge to wipe at herself.” I’m sorry, but yuck, she wanted to wipe at herself?! When I think “wipe” I think toilet paper.

Then there were the ridiculous situations they were put in, like oh I don’t know, giving head jobs on a balcony while people were watching. Or giving head jobs in the middle of a pub rec room in front of your four closest friends who have just met this woman.

His friends didn’t believe David when he told them he had a woman, if I saw that I’d think he’d hired a prostitute for the weekend. That isn’t hot, it’s dirty. Dayne could have made it hotter, with a different setting or better dialogue, but it read like a really bad porn movie.

The dialogue matched the rest of this train wreck as well. “Mm baby, are you hot for me?” “Oh yes, honey, I am so hot for you, I have been hot for you all day.” Really?

That was as good as it got. Well of course, apart from the over emotional speeches about how Stephanie couldn’t really be loved by David because she was so ugly, and such bad person.

This entire novella read like a bad soapie mixed with even worse porn. Overemotional, bad dialogue, horrible writing and stupid settings. Culminating in an ending that was not only clichéd and boring, but completely far-fetched.

If Dayne had left the emotional crap out of this story and used her material for a hot, wild coupling of two strangers, it might have worked, what we’re given though isn’t worth reading.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Words and Music: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Words and music is a new feature I am starting. Do you ever hear a song and immediately think of a book? Do you ever see a book that immediately reminds you of a song...well I do.

Every time I see the book: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

I think of this song:

Feel free to post your own Words and Music post, but please link back here if you do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday 56: 16/12/2011

Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Page 56, 5th Sentence

Smack! Went her palm against his cheek.

Always love it when we get some slappage.


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice.
*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: The Mark of the Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill

Review: The Mark of the Vampire Queen
Series: Vampire Queen – Book 2
Author: Joey W. Hill
No of Pages: 370
Release Date: 5 February 2008

Full Servant. With his new title, Jacob must now attend to Lady Lyssa’s every need, venturing into a world of passion darker than he’s ever known. His time as a vampire hunter certainly hadn’t prepared him to embrace a world where humans are sexual commodities, but he adapted. Now he finds the integrity of his soul challenges as he serves his Mistress’s needs as fully as he services her desires.

As much as Jacob loves her, other servants wan against giving her his soul. Everyone knows that vampires have no regard for humans, so why would a vampiress bother treating a mere sex toy with respect? But Jacob knows a human servant is far more than that. His Mistress needs a warrior, a friend and a lover – a man who will serve her in all ways, even if he has to betray the priceless treasure of her love…

My Thoughts:
The Mark of the Vampire Queen was a very hard one for me to finish, purely because it bored me.

Jacob is now a full servant of the vampire queen Lyssa. With this title comes the knowledge that Lyssa is very sick and dying, and now, because of his new stature, so will he die along with her.

This pains the pair of them as in their own way, they love each other, being soul mates throughout Lyssa’s incomparably long life and Jacob through his various incarnations, to have found each other in this capacity Jacob wants to hold on to as her for as long as he can.

I will be quite frank and say that this book bored me literally to sleep. There was far too much detail wrapped up in politics and medieval fairs that I had to force myself to finish just to have the pleasure of writing this review. The politics interest me, but the way they were written in reminding me of watching Parliament Time on the ABC, a lot of people talking quietly for two hours and once every three months having a raving blue with each other that can be quite entertaining.

I originally picked up this series because I read an excerpt of book five, Vampire Mistress, and thought it intriguing. It might still be, it’s just a shame that I will not get to it because of the quality of the first two books.

In hindsight I remember the first book being relatively slow, to the point of having to force myself through it as well. There just isn’t enough driving this story for me to enjoy it. Sure you have a problem in the form of Lyssa’s impending doom and the effect it will have on Jacob, you also have the likes of Carnal trying to upset the order Lyssa has been trying to build between vampires and humans for the last thousand years.

Yet when it’s put on paper in the way that Hill writes it, it just drags on and on. In the end I was marking chapter ends so I felt a small victory each time I reached one.

The sex was hot in this series overall, I will admit that, some of the scenes Hill came up with were especially well written, but there just wasn’t enough built around those scenes for me to remotely enjoy this story at all.

Others in this series:
The Vampire Queen's Servant
A Vampire's Claim
Beloved Vampire
Vampire Mistress
Vampire Trinity
Vampire's Keeper

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Upcoming Release: Scott Nicholson's Creative Spirit

I am actually reading one of his ebooks at the moment, Speed Dating with the Dead, and it's quite good. So to think that I am going to have a good supply of these still coming out is an exciting prospect. Here are the details for Scott's latest release.


"Scott Nicholson explores the dark legends of the southern end of the Appalachian mountain chain, a nightmare country that ends in Stephen King's yard."-- Sharyn McCrumb, author of The Ballad novels

A paranormal thriller by Scott Nicholson

After parapsychologist Anna Galloway is diagnosed with metastatic cancer, she has a recurring dream in which she sees her own ghost at Korban Manor. She’s compelled to visit the historic estate to face her destiny and the fate of her soul.

Sculptor Mason Jackson has come to the manor to make a final, all-or-nothing attempt at success before giving up his dreams. When he becomes obsessed with carving Ephram Korban's form out of wood, he is swept into a destructive frenzy that even Anna can’t pull him from.

The manor itself has secrets, with fires that blaze constantly in the hearths, portraits of Korban in every room, and deceptive mirrors on the walls. With an October blue moon looming, both the living and the dead learn the true power of their dreams.

View or sample it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Kobo, Smashwords,, or Goodreads. Look for Liquid Fear and Chronic Fear from Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint.

CREATIVE SPIRIT is Scott Nicholson’s revised edition of the 2004 U.S. paperback THE MANOR. Scott is Kindle bestselling author of 12 novels, including THE RED CHURCH, DISINTEGRATION, LIQUID FEAR, and SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD. Connect with Scott on Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Twitter, blogspot, website or Amazon page

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 13/12/2011

 Currently Reading: Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L. A. Meyer
One thing that was a bit sour last niht was that Gully drank too much toward the end of the evening and turned surly.
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Review: One Grave at a Time
Series: Night Huntress – Book 6
Author: Jeaniene Frost
No of Pages: 358
Release Date: 30 August 2011


Having narrowly averted an (under) World War, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’s voodoo queen just keeps on giving – leading to a personal favour that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, ever All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity – forever. But one wrong step and they’ll be digging their own graves.

My Thoughts:

There is just something about this series that makes it so fantastic.

After Cat’s uncles passing Cat has had to grieve and then deal with an upheaval in the team that he used to head. Her friend Tate has been demoted from the top job and replaced by someone who obviously has a problem with the all vampire team. Cat now has to deal with the new guy poking into her business while having to go up against a psychopathic homicidal ghost running rampant on Halloween.

Cat is still amazing, but she isn’t quite as brilliant as what she was in the first four books. She is still smart talking, still completely ass kicking fantastic. But now she is just Cat. We’ve seen all of her tricks, but what now?

I will be honest that I am getting scared for the rest of this series. The first five books were absolutely tongue tying-ly brilliant. But this one? It was a little on the stale side. There was even a scene with awkward dialogue in it.

Then there was also the sex scene. We’ve gone from the infamous Chapter 32 which was absolutely amazing, to some half-assed sex in the sky. It could have been as fantastic as the Eternal Kiss of Darkness ceiling scene, but it had a bit of a bore factor to it.

I am even having some trouble remembering the great scenes from this book, it’s just not as hard hitting, and I worry if this is a preview into how the rest of the series is going to go, we still have three books left and I want them to be as awesome as the first half of the series was.

One Grave at a Time was missing the X factor that the other books Frost has written have. It was just going through the motions. Bones was there, ghosts were there, friends were there, Cat was there. Stuff happened but meh.

I want to love this series, I want to love this book as much as I loved the others but I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, this book is still absolutely brilliant. But it’s not on par with the rest of the series, it’s great, but it’s not excellent, it’s not of the same calibre. Frost set the bar very high, and I hope she can reach it with the next book.

Other books in this series:
Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave
At Grave's End
Destined for an Early Grave
This Side of the Grave

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bookie Brunch: Do you believe in the Paranormal?

Welcome to Bookie Brunch

Founder: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Come join the discussion!
*Every Sunday*

Today’s host: StoryWings (@storywings)
Next week’s host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (Twitter N/A)
This week’s discussion open through: 14 December 2011

Your host this week:

My guests this week:

The question under discussion: When it comes to the paranormal and the magical - how much do you believe in what you’re reading? For you, are your books pure fiction or do you secretly hope that maybe there might be some truth to all of the stories?

Taking a swig of her skim mint extra hot, hot chocolate, Amanda begins with: I certainly hold out hope that there is some truth in what we read, I mean how cool would it be that people out there really could turn into an animal at will or who live forever. Even as I write this I feel silly, but I for one really want there to be more to this world than just humans, I want werewolves, vampires, faeries and magic, I know it's not really out there, BUT if they were to make themselves known, I would be one of the first people to turn around and say "I told you so. Now, where do I sign up for immortality?"

Melody, after a sip of her mango snapple, adds: I definitely hope that there is some truth to all the stories that I read, because I think the worlds they are set in are incredible. I wish there were faeries and shadowhunters in our world. I would love there to be some people who have werewolf or witch's blood in them. We love to read books with all these things in them, and even though I'm 99.99% certain that none of these things exist, I would love them to be real. I think one of the reasons we all love reading these books is because we all secretly hope that what we are reading about is real.

Pondering the quesiton over her peppermint tea, Liz continues with: I'm an enthusiast of losing myself in a story. If the author is doing their job, I can get fully lost and live in this other world of paranormal and magical creatures.

I wouldn't say that I think that they're real in the real world, just real in my imagination. There is truth in the stories, but not necessarily in the creatures that inhabit these stories. I don't believe in con artists that have magical powers, but I'm sure there are people who have family conflicts and have to deal with a similar life as Cassel in White Cat by Holly Black. This is probably because I'm a much bigger fan of getting into the inner workings (brain-wise) of the character than I am in wondering how they got to have magical powers.

Anna stirs her coffee and adds: That's a bit of a complex question cause you see,clearly, I don't believe in anything paranormal or magical I'm reading in my stories, but that, doesn't mean that I don't secretly wish that some of all those magical things I'm reading about would be true...!
For me, reading equals escaping my current world and entering a whole new one and even if I know what I'm reading is pure fiction that doesn't prevent me from "travelling" along with the heroes.
And that's the magic of a story for me. The ability of the writer to take you along in a world where facts and fiction coexist so harmonically that you secretly wish it was your reality.

Lea drains her egg nog and takes a shortbread cookie off the plate before concluding with:  I read a LOT of paranormal romance and no, I don't believe in demons, vampires, werewolves etc. etc. Reading for me is all about escape, I love the alternate worlds created by authors and immersing myself in the fantasy. Do I secretly hope there may be truth to the stories, um not usually I like dark, gritty spine tingling stories with tough Überalpha heroes, & living in a scary world where one could easily get turned into a leech? Um, no thanks.. lol

Amanda: As we are nearing the festive season and some of us are already hitting the egg nog :) (I'll take some brandy in mine thanks Lea) I have some Christmas cake for you all and some more egg nog!!! (One can never drink too much egg nog as far as I'm concerned. (I do have brandy under the table for any of you who wish to add "some extra flavour" to theirs.

Is this not the most coolest cake (bad English, I know) you have ever seen in your life?!?!

You’re invited! Visitors: Please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section, so they can be included in the discussion. This is an active discussion though Wednesday, so feel free to stop by again later on.

* About Bookie Brunch

Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists.

Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.

* Find Bookie Brunch

Today’s host: StoryWings (@storywings)
Next week’s host: Jo at The Fluidity of Time (Twitter N/A)

* Contact Bookie Brunch

Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen
Browse Bookie Brunch discussions Archive: The Fluidity of Time

What do you think? You’re invited to join the discussion below!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Two Cents: The book spectrum

So the other day I was playing on Shelfari and I connected my Facebook account to my Shelfari profile.

It asked me if I wanted to post a certain review to Facebook as it does and came up with this as my profile description:

Just for the record the highlighted bit says: Amanda-Lee's bookshelf has 1479 books including Defending the Gospel & Everything Erotic Volume III.

I really don't think they could have picked two more opposite books to put there. Defending the Gospel is exactly what it sounds like...religious...and then you have in the same sentence as a book that is nearly more religious than the Bible it's so evangelistic, Everything Erotic Volume III which I reckon also suggests that I also have in my possession Volumes 1&2...which I do.

Could Shelfari have picked anything worse?

I pissed myself laughing for about 10 minutes...


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