Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #126: Blue Moon, by Alyson Noel


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

Blue Moon
Paperback, 284 pages
St. Martin's Griffin
July 7, 2009
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

Once again I am irresistibly drawn to a blue cover....and a very beautiful one, too! 

I can honestly say that I've never seen anything like this before. The girl on the cover is not emphasized; instead, it's the glowing crystal globe in her right hand that takes center stage. The effect is very dramatic, to say the least! I'm not sure exactly what is trapped within this globe, either. Could it be a green prairie full of flowers? An entire world? Whatever it is, it's full of light, and this light illuminates the darkness that surrounds the girl. This luminous globe becomes the moon, in a metaphorical way.

There's a whole air of mystery about this cover that is totally fascinating to me. Why is the girl holding out this globe to the viewer? What message is she trying to convey to us?

The title is done completely in lower-case letters, which is a nice touch, as it subtly points out that this is a young adult novel. The letters glow, too; which is also very effective

I happen to own this book, so I found the cover designer's name on the back cover. However, this information wasn't very helpful. After an extensive Google search, I have been unable to locate any data on the very talented cover designer, whose name I have listed below, along with the links for the separate elements she brought together for this great cover. (I could not find a link for the girl's picture, though....)

Cover design by Angela Goddard
girl @ plainpicture/Fancy;

What do you think of my choice
this week?
Please leave me a comment
and let me know!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Blog Tour: Guest Post/Giveaway!! Finding Midnight: A Hellhound Tail, by T. Lynne Tolles

Welcome to my stop in the 
Finding Midnight tour,
brought to you by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

 Author Guest Post
It's an honor to be here posting for A Night's Dream of Books blog. I'm T. Lynne Tolles and I write New Adult paranormal romances that tend to be sappy-sweet and end with a happily-ever-after. I just released Finding Midnight: A Hellhound Tail, which is the first of its series. 
Originally, when I came up with the concept, we had an ancient Newfoundland whom I used as the subject for fun stories about raising a hellhound. Having a giant dog breed of any kind is certain to give loads of comical scenarios to use in writing, and mine was no different. However, Bella died a few months ago at the age of twelve and I worried I would only have my memories for input in future books. I want to let all those that look forward to more hilarious scenes with the hellhound, not to worry. I have a new muse named Ellie - another Newfoundland who's full of puppy energy and mischief. 
I hope you'll enjoy reading about Sully the hellhound growing up and the crazy things he does in this and subsequent books. It's a fast, easy read that's sure to put a smile on your face. 
Thanks again to A Night's Dream of Books for hosting this spot on my blog tour! It's been a pleasure!

Finding Midnight: A Hellhound Tail
(A Hellhound Tail, #1)
T. Lynne Tolles
Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Troll Publishing
August 2, 2014
Fantasy, New Adult Fiction, 
Paranormal Romance

Book Synopsis

Life raising a hellhound is no easy task. Unforeseen problems can and will arise at every turn.  If things weren't crazy enough juggling a job, dating a vampire and being stalked by a demon, then life in Paradise is about to get a whole lot worse for Summer when her landlord demands she unearth the RAT or the BROOM will have her head.

What does that even mean? Is the landlord insane? Summer's best friend Tori thinks so.  Top it off with a visit from a fallen angel, a dragon, and Summer's got herself a whopper of a mystery to solve.

Amazon US/Createspace/iTunes
All Romance EBooks
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

T. Lynne Tolles can be found most days, juggling one of two cat muses and a laptop, tripping over an ancient Newfoundland dog and washing a never-ending pile of laundry. When life doesn’t get in the way, she writes paranormal romances for new adults.

Her passion for witches, ghosts, and vampires together with a light-hearted wit are reflected in her loveable characters and the adventures of mystery they unravel to find their happily ever after.

About Me/Website/YouTube 


Be sure to enter the UNIQUE,
tour-wide giveaway!!

For the complete tour schedule,
just click on the 
tour company button below!!


The Book Lover's Den #3: What kind of book blog do I really want to have?

Welcome to my new Friday feature!

In each bi-weekly post, I will be 
exploring my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.  

When I first began blogging about books, I debated with myself just what kind of books I wanted to blog about. My tastes are very eclectic, so I finally decided that I would simply blog about my favorite genres. So A Night's Dream of Books began as an eclectic blog, and has remained thus to this day. 

Unfortunately, from what I've seen on the blogosphere, there aren't that many eclectic blogs. I've noticed that most book blogs deal with young adult fiction, and, while I love this genre, I also love others. For instance, of the several fiction genres, I love classics, fantasy, science fiction, and Christian fiction, as well as paranormal romance and urban fantasy, along with contemporary and historical romance. As for nonfiction, I love psychology, art, literary criticism, philosophy, and even some theology, as well as other spiritual topics. I've recently become interested in conspiracy theories, too, for the purpose of critical analysis, not of blind adherence to them.

This brings me to another aspect of the book blogging world I've noticed: few blogs deal with nonfiction, with the notable exception of Babbling Books, a very interesting blog run by Brian Joseph, who covers literary fiction, as well as nonfiction. I know there are more such blogs, and I simply need to seek them out.

As for blog design, there are all kinds, from the very simple -- minimalist, I call them -- to the very elaborate, with lots of images and colors. Even from the beginning, I gravitated toward the latter group.

All of this brings me to the point of this post: what genres do I want to blog about, and what type of blog design do I prefer ?  Looking back over all of my posts, I see that a lot of them cover young adult fiction, paranormal romance, and urban  fantasy, with occasional posts dealing with other genres. I would definitely like to publish more posts on classics and literary fiction, as well as more nonfiction. However, this presents a dilemma for me: I tend to get more comments on posts covering young adult fiction, as well as paranormal romance/urban fantasy, than I do on posts covering other genres.

You might be wondering, at this point, why I'm concerned about these things.  After all, I do have more than 1,100 GFC followers, 408 Bloglovin' followers, and 111 Linky Followers. But having a lot of followers doesn't guarantee lots of comments. As everyone knows, a blog with little to no interaction between the blogger and the readers means that somehow the blog is not engaging readers.

The whole thing really has to do with demographics. Just what reader demographic is my blog intended to appeal to? Well, there's the crux of the problem. My blog design indicates it would appeal more to the YA crowd, and not to the type of reader who enjoys literary fiction and more serious topics. I could, of course, modify my design to appeal to this type of reader. However, I don't see myself doing that, and there are two reasons: first, I'm a very visual person, and second, I was an Art Major in college. I don't like simplicity and restraint in blog design. Instead, I love bold, vibrant, images and colors! For some reason, literary fiction and nonfiction seem to be  associated with more plain, even staid, blog design. Such blogs are apparently taken more seriously by 'the literati'.

I find this to be a  very curious prejudice  in the blogosphere. Why should very artistic, bold design mean that the blogger in question is not interested in important, more intellectual literature and nonfiction? Why should this even imply that their reviews  are not to be taken seriously? On the other hand, when someone who prefers young adult fiction comes to my blog and sees a review, or some other post, about literary fiction, or perhaps nonfiction, why should they then stop coming to my blog?

So I do have a dilemma..... I can either confine myself to the YA genre, and perhaps get lots of comments, thereby losing any opportunity of appealing to readers of 'serious' literature and nonfiction, or blog exclusively about these topics, thereby alienating my YA followers.

And what of my blog design? Should I change it to a simpler design, with more subdued colors,  in order to attract more readers of literary fiction and nonfiction? 

I have long pondered these issues in my mind, and I see that the basic question underlying my dilemma is whether I want to change the genres I review, as well as my blog design, in order to achieve popularity as a blogger. I do want my blog posts to have more comments, as this means more interaction with my readers. But am I willing to transform my blog dramatically in order to achieve this? In other words, am I willing to stick to one genre only, or to downplay my blog's exuberant design so that it becomes a shadow of what it is now? I have finally come to the realization that the answers to these questions are all the same: "No". This is who I am, these are the books I love to blog about. This is the type of blog design I love. I have to be myself, not only in real life, but in the blogosphere, as well.  Besides, readers can always select which posts really interest them, and comment on those.

On the other hand, maybe the problem is just a question of getting more exposure through social media. In order to help myself in that regard, I've just opened a Twitter account. Until very recently, I was relying on Facebook and Google + to get the word out about my blog. While I do plan to continue to post to Google +, I am not going to do so on Facebook any longer. The reason is that FB is now expecting those who have fan pages to pay in order for their posts to appear in FB's news feeds. Well, I can't afford to do that; boosting each post would cost a minimum of $5.00, and promoting the fan page itself is $10.00 a day. This means that I would have to pay $300.00 to promote my page for a month! 

So, now that I have a Twitter account, hopefully that will bring me readers who are interested enough in my posts that they will be more than happy to leave comments!

What kind of book blog 
do you have?
What's your opinion about 
this issue?
Let me know in the
comments section below!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting On Wednesay #114: Silvern, by Christina Farley

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

(The Gilded Series, #2)
September 23, 2014
Fantasy, Mythology,  Paranormal Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

Book Synopsis

Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it.

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

Why I'm waiting on this one!!

Although I have yet to read the first
book in this series, I'm excited
about this one!
The whole series deals with mythology,
and in Korea, too, which
should be totally fascinating, since
I'm not at all familiar with
that country's legends.
As soon as this novel is released,
I'm buying both books,
so I can read them back to back!

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link in the 
comments so I can
come check out your WOW!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: The Secret History of Extraterrestrials, by Len Kasten

The Secret History of Extraterrestrials: Advanced Technology and the Coming New Race
Len Kasten
Trade Paperback,328 pages
Bear & Co., Nov. 11, 2010
Aliens & UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, Nonfiction
Source: Purchased at Barnes & Noble

Book Synopsis Explores the role of ETs in the military, government, technology, history, and the coming new age. Surveys contact with ETs, abductions, alien technology and exopolitics, genetic tampering by ETs, and the history behind the Nazis and UFOs.
The extraterrestrial presence on Earth is widening and, as we enter the Aquarian Age, will be admitted officially, causing shock and an urgent universal need to understand the social and technological changes derived from our space brothers. A primer for the explosive advances humanity will experience scientifically and spiritually in the coming years, this compendium explores the ET phenomenon and its influence on humanity past and present.

The book surveys contact with ETs and abduction accounts, unexplained public and undisclosed military technology from aliens including anti-gravity devices, exopolitics (the influence of ETs in human affairs), the Iraqi Stargate, the Hybrid Project of alien interbreeding by abduction, Nazi ties to UFOS and their secret underground base in Antarctica, government cover-ups of alien interactions including Roswell, and the transformation triggered by the Hale-Bopp comet. Based on interviews with people who are witnessing the coming changes as well as those visionaries who are actually bringing them about--including John Mack, Major Jesse Marcel, Paul LaViolette, Robert Bauval, Michael Salla, and Helen Wambach--this book sketches out a breathtaking vision of the planetary revolution just around the corner.

 My Review

As an avid science fiction fan, I've always been fascinated by the concept of aliens and their different cultures. This interest of mine has also led me to the logical question: Do extraterrestrials and flying saucers (now mostly known as "UFOs") really exist?

Of course, in order to answer this question, conclusive proof is needed. After all, it's one thing to enjoy science fiction, and quite another to affirm that it's science FACT.

The evidence in Kasten's book does seem very compelling indeed. But is it really? In order to judge with an open mind, it's actually necessary to do outside research about the various topics presented and discussed in this book, which is really an overview of a supposedly 'secret' history of ETs, gathered from the works of other writers. These are listed in separate bibliographies for each chapter.

Writers such as George Adamski are mentioned. Adamski claimed to have been contacted by a very human-looking alien named "Orthon", in the Colorado Desert (USA), in 1952.  Kasten then goes on to discuss the 1947 Roswell incident, in which an alien craft allegedly crashed in New Mexico. He also mentions the work of Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy-award-winning TV producer who became a UFO investigator, crop circles (Kasten admits that at least one of them was most likely created by humans), exopolitics (alien interference in human affairs), the work of T. Townsend Brown, Stanton T. Friedman, and space-age science. This last, according to Kasten, is mostly the direct result of reverse engineering of alien spacecraft, resulting in such things as anti-gravity propulsion. Then there's the construction of biospheres, which are self-contained human environments being tested on Earth for use on the planet Mars.

In spite of my doubts, I found this book fascinating to read. However, I do think it's a rather uneven mix of fact and what looks very much like fiction. Also, I thought the author would start his 'history' from the time of the alleged ancient astronauts. Instead, he begins it with the Adamski sightings, and then jumps back to the Roswell incident. From there, he moves forward. 

For instance, from the Wikipedia article about Adamski, it seems pretty clear that the man was a superb con artist, with a coterie of blindly devoted followers.

Other things mentioned in the book sound so outrageous as to be totally unbelievable, such as Kasten's assertion that "....twelve astronauts left Earth in July, 1965 and were taken to the planet Serpo in the binary star system Zeta Reticuli aboard an alien spaceship as part of an exchange program." (pg. 77) He also states that the 1977 movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", may have been inspired by Project Serpo. 

Also outrageously unbelievable is the explanation, put forth by one Michael Salla, former researcher-in-residence at the Center for Global Peace at American University in Washington, D.C., that the real reason for the war in Iraq was to keep a stargate located in Uruk, Iraq, from falling into the hands of the French, Germans, and Russians, which would have meant the end of American hegemony!

Another controversial aspect of the UFO movement mentioned by Kasten is the hotly debated existence of "Operation Majestic-12" (also known as "MJ-12"), which is a secret government project purportedly set up by President Truman in 1947, in order to investigate UFO phenomena. The authenticity of the  documents associated with this group is strongly defended by nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, who is now a full-time UFO researcher. However, the topic does remain controversial.

There are other aspects of the book, such as the chapter on T. Townsend Brown, as well as the one on  the B-2 bomber, which do sound more credible. As for the Roswell incident, I'm not quite sure whether or not it's credible, in spite of all the evidence in support of the alleged facts.

The book also reports on extremely fascinating scientific theories, such as the nature of time and space, as well as delving into more mystical topics, and a favorite New Age staple, the advent of the superhuman race.

Of course, alien abductions are included. Accounts of such abductions are only available through hypnotizing abductees, since most of the memories are too traumatic to be recalled consciously.  They usually involve bizarre 'scientific' experimentation on human subjects by aliens.

While I feel that something is undoubtedly going on, I'm not sure to what extent the various aspects of the UFO phenomenon are real. Certainly, lights have often been seen in the sky throughout the centuries, by different observers. The book, Alien Encounters, by Chuck Missler, reports many such incidents, and this can also be easily verified on the Internet. Also, there have been many, many reports, worldwide, by people claiming to have been abducted by aliens. However, these experiences are simply not within the scope of what most of us would consider saneness and reality. Perhaps there are psychological factors involved.

After finishing this review, I decided to go to Amazon to see what other reviewers thought of this book. I was shocked that one of them, Michael F. Burdick, reported that a photo included in this book is an actual hoax! A building that Kasten hints might be "an astronaut habitat" on the planet Serpo (pg. 83), is really the back side of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico! I knew this photo looked familiar. In fact, it reminded me of a painting by the famous American artist Georgia O'Keeffe!  There are photos of this church on Wikipedia, so that readers of Kasten's book can easily verify that the photo is indeed a hoax. I then decided to incorporate the above information into my own review.

In short, although this book is indeed very interesting, as well as very well-written, some of the events being related sound more like fiction than fact. I think the author should have been more careful to  verify certain things, because they might almost certainly be taken as fraudulent. The inclusion of the photo that turned out to be a hoax is a serious drawback, for instance.  I found the book fascinating simply because of the subject matter, so I might read parts of it again so as to do some research on these topics, while at the same time being alert for more flaws.