Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How is everyone doing!?

How are all my wonderful blogger and reading friends doing? I know it's been a while since I posted but sometimes life comes up and we must prioritize! Hopefully.....I an get back on schedule and catch up with all of you. I've missed my friends and my reading so it's time to get back to that. I hope you all are having a great day and will stop in to say hello!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Have you checked out Shelf Awareness?

The publication booksellers turn to for news on the book industry is now publishing a version for book lovers! Shelf Awareness: Enlightenment for Readers is a FREE emailed newsletter with reviews on the 25 best books publishing each week along with author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways and more. Right now they’re running a contest for new subscribers. Check out the button on our website to sign up for the new publication and to be entered for a chance to win a great book!



Subscribe to Shelf Awareness and enter to win a free book!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Series Review: Generation Dead by Daniel Waters


Truth be told, this series has been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time now. Not because I wasn't looking forward to reading it but because as a review our TBR stacks are always a mile high.

I decided to pick this out of the pile and was totally pleased with the series. So pleased in fact, that I read through the series in 3 days.

I really enjoy zombie books....or differently biotic.....if you like that term better. If you enjoy a good non-scary zombie book that takes a look at it from the zombie perspective then this is a series to try out.

I have my own favorite characters and there is someone for EVERYONE in this series so go ahead and see who YOU like the best.

Find out more about the series here: Generation Dead

**Review copies are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendra Blake

I really enjoyed this one! I love a good ghost story and this one had it all. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline.

I'll be honest and say that I'm not familiar with the author BUT I will now be keeping my out for her.

I found the story to be original and entertaining. I also thought that it was refreshing to be reading something different. I read A LOT so it's hard to find something that doesn't seem repititious. This was a good little break from vampires and werewolves. (Though I still love them dearly LOL!)

I'd say to check this one out whenever it is released. I know I'll be wanting to read more from this author.

About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

**Review copy: Amazon Vine program All opinions are my own. I did not recieve any monetary compensation for this post.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: The Well Of Truth by Amber Riley

The Well Of Truth is Amber Riley's second book in this series. I read the first one "Flasf of A Firefly" a while back and really enjoyed it so when Amber contacted me for this one I of course, said yes!

Book two was equally wonderful and enjoyable. I like how Amber manages to mix it up with "old" vampires and "new" vampires. Her stories are always interesting and exciting.

The characters are also great and they have something for everybody. I really really enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next one!


About The Book:
(From Goodreads)

Kaden has made a promise to the Iustitia. In exchange for helping the vampire hunters rid Rome of their supernatural infestation, he will never be hunted by the church-assuming he makes it out of the country alive. With a master vampire who is letting the city be terrorized, Kaden must uncover his true motives before it is too late.

Something dangerous is closing in on Kaden, and he cannot afford to be weak. Inside Vatican City, the vampires are more vulnerable than they have ever been. But with his independence on the line, Kaden is breaking every rule in the book, putting everyone's lives at risk. Worse yet, he is feeling things again-things he has not felt in centuries. He must find a way to completely sever his ties with the past. Unfortunately, in a city that is supposed to be off limits to all vampires, Kaden finds more than he bargained for-and loses even more.

The Well of Truth tells a haunting tale in which a hardened vampire will realize that some secrets are better left in the dark.

**Review copy provided by author. All opinions are my own. I received NO monetary compensation for this post.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker



I am a huge fan of Ted Dekker and when looking for something to read off my shelf the other day this is what I grabbed. Once again, Dekker DID NOT disapoint.


He creates wonderfully suspenseful stories that keep you on the edge of your seat and these complicated characters are fascinating.


When I first started reading Dekker's work I never knew he was considered a christian writer but once I knew that I started noticing the christian elements in his books. He's very much a talented writer in my opinion.


More about the book on Amazon.


**Review copy purchased by me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

This is another book that I've read recently and thoroughly enjoyed. I found it to be very much in the same style of Heather's first book The Weight Of Silence. I really enjoyed that one to so you would have to be the judge.

If you didn't like the style of the first then you won't like this one. I personally enjoy the changing of POV from one character to the next.

This one deals with some heavy subject matter so be prepared. If you've read After by Amy Efaw then you might like this one. The subject matter is comparable.

Find out more on Goodreads.

*Review copy provided by Amazon Vine program

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Spirit Storm by E J Stevens

I love E.J. 's books and she never dissapoints me. Spirit Storm was no exception to that. Once again I was sucked in by these characters and found myself rooting for Yuki.

E.J. has a wonderful writing style that I love....her sense of humor really shines through in her stories and no matter how "ghostly" they are you can always get a good chuckle.

While it is YA I think this one is good for anyone from the younger YA readers to the older YA readers. If you haven't checked her out yet then you are really missing out. E.J. is absolutely one of my favorite indie authors!

Find out more about the book on Goodreads.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer is Here! (at least for me!)

Wow, these last two - three months have been so hectic around here! Thankfully, the kids are out of school now and I'll be able to catch up on posts, reviews, and reading YAY!

You know I have been busy when I haven't read the newest Black Dagger Brotherhood book yet....I'll be starting on that one today.

So what have all of you been up to? What are you reading and have you read anything really great lately that I need to check out?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amazon.com: Your Profile: Reviews






Amazon.com: Your Profile: Reviews: "I love Sarah Addison Allen and own all her books. I found this author by accident one day and have been hooked since. When I saw her new book I was ecstatic!

As usual Allen delievered for me. I find all her stories 'magical' and The Peach Keeper was no exception. I found the characters to be endearing as always and the storyline to be wonderful.

I was sucked into this story from page one and of course read through it quickly. I felt many emotion throughout the story and connected with these characters through ther regret, hope, and longing. I also laughed along at times and it left me with a smile.

If you're an Allen fan I think you'll be equally happy with this one!"

Monday, May 2, 2011

Canine book consultants on the blog today!




Our guests Alice and Shannon served as canine consultants for the book Toto’s Tale, written by their humans, K.D. Hays and Meg Weidman. Today they’re going to share thoughts about their experience.






Alice: Thanks for having us here today. Most of the time, humans don’t take the time to get our perspective on—



Shannon: Do you have any food?



Alice: If I did I wouldn’t give it to you. So anyway, I appreciated it when our humans—



Shannon: Do you have any food?



Alice: I already said I didn’t.



Shannon: No, you just said you wouldn’t give me any.



Alice: Right, so it doesn’t matter. So, when our humans started paying attention to—



Shannon: I smell pork chops. Do you have any?



Alice: You already asked me twice.



Shannon: I asked if you had food. Not pork chops.



Alice: Pork chops are food.



Shannon: I like to wear them as jewelry.



Alice: No, you eat them.Shannon: Mouth jewelry.



Alice: We are here to tell people what it was like to work as consultants on a book. So pay attention to the people who will be reading this.




Shannon: Okay.



Alice: As I was saying—



Shannon: Do you have any food?



Alice: I already told you



Shannon: I was talking to the people



Alice: Grrr



Shannon: What? You said to talk to them.



Alice: You’re supposed to tell people what it was like to help our humans write a book from a dog’s point of view, not extort food from them.



Shannon: Hey, I hadn’t thought of that. Extortion. Sounds threatening.



Alice: Yeah? Well it won’t work from you.




Shannon: Why not?




Alice: You’re the cute dog. I’m the threatening dog. People are scared of me.



Shannon: That’s just because of your mismatched teeth.



Alice: Don’t make fun of my teeth. I’m very sensitive about my underbite. My first owners didn’t have money for orthodontia.



Shannon: You said I’m the cute one.



Alice: Yes.



Shannon: I’m cute.



Alice:Yes. Cute and annoying.



Shannon: I’m cute because I have good teeth.



Alice: Sigh. Maybe we should get back to pork chops.



Shannon: Where? Where are the pork chops?



Alice: In this interview. And the book. (Holds up Toto’s Tale) Toto has a fixation with pork chops. That was my idea.



Shannon: (Grabs the book and rifles through the pages) No fair! I’ve sniffed through every page of the book and haven’t found a single chop.



Alice: Hmm. I wonder what inspired me?



Shannon: Did Toto find any pork chops in the book?



Alice: You don’t know? Didn’t you read the book?



Shannon: I’m waiting for the movie.



Alice: Well I’m not going to tell. I would hate to spoil the suspense for readers.



Shannon: I’ll bet he did find the pork chops. He found them and ate all of them and that’s why I couldn’t find any in the book.



Alice: You really don’t understand the concept of a book, do you?



Shannon: No, I don’t. I don’t understand why our owners like them so much. They taste terrible. Just like paper. The rabbit likes them, though.



Alice: Maybe they should have interviewed her for this article. They’re not learning much from us. Well thanks for talking to the canine consultants for Toto’s Tale. I’m going to go find Shannon a snack before she eats me.



Shannon: Or Toto.



Alice: It’s a good thing the book wasn’t “Shannon’s Tale.” It would be very short.



Shannon: Are you making fun of my tail?




Alice: T-A-L-E, not tail. And it would be short because you would eat all the words off the page before the authors could save them.



Shannon: What do words taste like?



Alice: Quick, readers—get out now while you still ca—

Canine book consultants on the blog today!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blog... by MaxTheQuiltCat

Lou Belcher's latest release is The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps). It's a memoir of an ordinary cat with extraordinary wisdom, love and compassion as well as a few quirks..


Lou started a blog for Max (her snowshoe point mix) to help her finish his book. Soon enough, Max's voice took over the blog. So, this post is from Max as it's only fitting that he post about pet blogging from his point of view.


Max here... I'm so glad to have this opportunity to talk to you about my experiences of pet blogging. I never dreamed I would have my own blog as a forum - especially after crossing the Rainbow Bridge. In a nutshell, here's how it all started:


You see, Lou Belcher is my food human. (As a point of reference, let me explain that I call her HH. That's short for Her Highness -- it's a term of endearment and it has stuck.)
HH started me on my path to becoming a pet blogger. I didn't have a clue what the blogosphere was about, but I soon found out when HH put up the blog and called it

http://www.MaxTheQuiltCat.com. Before the blog, my mission was to sit on as many quilts as possible. Now, that is still a priority, but I have much loftier goals too.


The blog started because of the book (The Zen of Max). Before I crossed the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 18 1/2, HH started to write a book about me. When I died, she put it aside. She missed me so much, she just couldn't write about me anymore.


Almost two years later, she decided that she needed to finish it. To help her get over the block of writing about me, she decided to give me a blog. It worked... not only did she finish the book, but the blog thrives. (And....shhhhhhh.... I'll tell you a secret. HH doesn't like hearing it, but my blog receives more comments and attention than hers... hee hee... and I have over 2,000 followers on Twittter... just saying, with all modesty of course, that there's something happening here.)
So, the blog started about two years ago, and I do love writing it. At first, I was all paws and was a little stiff. But now, I look forward everyday to posting what's new in the cat world and commenting on the blogs of others.


I bet you're wondering how a cat can have so much to say. Well, I blog about all sorts of things. I've even written a short mystery novel on line (with me as the hero of the story, of course). I blog about Knuckles and Bugsy (those are my two nephews HH just rescued from the SPCA) and I throw in the occasional book review or product reviewB (about cat and dog products). And, once a week, I put up the picture of one of the pets from the SPCA of North Brevard who needs a forever home. We all need to do as much as possible to find homes for those who don't have them. That's for sure.


I must admit that when I started blogging, I didn't think it would grow into all of this. But HH and I have found it wonderful to have a platform to bring the fun of pets to the public as well as to bring the need of pets to the readers. Now, I'm just leading my life in cyberspace and loving it.


Thanks for listening to me... Let me leave you with one of my favorite Lessons Learned from The Zen of Max... It's about sticking to your guns... you may quote me.


"If you want to be carried, someone will eventually carry you. You just have to be willing to be left behind a few times until they realize that you mean business - you will not walk on a leash."That's my post and my story.... Have a super day everybody... Max loves ya!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why Do We Love Them So? By Cheryl Malandrinos

*Once again I apologize for Bloggers poor formatting. I'm not sure what's going on. :( Our next guest post in our Readers Heart Animals month if from Cheryl! I've had the pleasure of "knowing" Cheryl since I've started blogging and if you have a chance you should check her out. ************************************************************************************* Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. ************************************************************************************* Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married. You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/. ************************************************************************************* Why Do We Love Them So? By Cheryl Malandrinos **************************************************************************** I’m convinced cat owners are special. How else could we put up with pouring so much love into a relationship with four-legged creatures that don’t care about our existence unless we’re feeding them, brushing them, or cleaning out their litter boxes? I’ve owned cats most of my adult life, and I still can’t tell you why. I had a dog growing up. Fritz was a good companion; he learned a few tricks, and other than when he got mad at you and peed on your bed, he was fun to have around. But cats? I just don’t understand them. What’s worse, I don’t know why I love them so much. Take my first cat, Ashley. She hated people. Unless you were feeding her, she wanted nothing to do with you. I kept trying to encourage her to be playful, bought her toys and treats, but nothing ever worked. Then came Tito. Now, he was beautiful. A Siamese mix, he was my baby from day one. He was a fun kitten, though not many pairs of nylons survived. If you were looking for companionship, however, you needed to go elsewhere. He tolerated being petted, but if you kept at it too long, he would scratch your arm off. Here I was giving these cats more attention than I gave to brushing my hair in the morning, and they could barely bother to rub up against my legs and purr. Actually, Tito didn’t purr. He yowled. I guess Siamese cats are talkers. Anyone out there speak Siamese? I think our luck in choosing cats that have a greater compassion for our limited human intelligence is improving. Stubby, our Pixie-Bob with the stubby tail—hence the name—encourages us to pet her. She even looks us in the eye when we talk to her. I think she’s laughing at us. Killer, despite his name, couldn’t hurt a fly. That could be because he’s 18 pounds and can’t run after anything faster than a snail. He’s as close to a dog as a cat could get; though he’s much too dignified to admit it. He follows my husband around the house everywhere he goes, but if you look at him, he tries to make it appear like he was heading in a different direction. The kittens, Giggles and Boots, humor us lower life forms by playing with the numerous toys we buy, and engaging in playful kitten games running through the house and knocking things over. Lest we forget whose boss, they’ve also nibbled the life out of several silk flower arrangements, torn up a few carpets, and broken a lamp I bought for my husband fifteen years ago when we vacationed in North Carolina. They definitely don’t want us thinking they are getting too attached to us. Not everyone is cut out to be a cat owner. They aren’t the faithful companions that dogs are, and yet, they are more comforting to snuggle up with than a hamster or a ferret. I can’t understand why I speak baby talk to my cats or why I would rather take daily doses of asthma medication than have a cat-free house. I just know I love my furry little beasts and our house couldn’t possibly be a home without them. ************************************************************************************* Check her out online here: http://ccmalandrinos.com/ http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/ http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ http://booktoursandmore.blogspot.com/ http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/ http://profwritersconnect.blogspot.com/ http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: The Chimp Who Loved Me by

Since we are celebrating Animal Prevention Cruelty Month this month it was an ideal time for me to review this book. There are several stories of little mentioned animals in this one which made it for an enjoyable read.


I do believe that I laughed through 99% of the book. Now there were the serious moments but the majority of the stories had me laughing out loud. I must tell you that after reading this book I never want to buy a pig LOL!


I loved the stories and I loved the writing. I would certainly read more works by this pair since they seem to mesh so well together with storytelling.


I would say that if your looking for a LOL animal book then check this one out!

About The Book:


The Chimp Who Loved Me is a collection of true stories from the life and times of Annie Greer, a veterinary chiropractitioner, animal healer, radio host, speaker, farmer’s wife and all-around magnet for bizarre animal behavior. When Annie and Tim Vandehey, a professional writer, met in 2006 and began talking about Annie’s endless trove of strange and pants-wettingly funny tales about drill sergeant sheep and insane veterinary clinic customers, a book was born. Infused with Annie’s trademark dry English wit and Tim’s storytelling panache, The Chimp Who Loved Me is a sort of twisted love child of Dave Barry, David Sedaris and James Herriot ofAll Things Bright and Beautiful fame. If you’re sick of the treacly sweetness of animal books like Marley and Me or Dewey and crave twisted tales of sex, poop, pee and death, where apes throw donuts at chefs during dinner parties and stoned veterinary students dispense bizarre advice to puzzled dog show contestants, then you won’t be able to put The Chimp Who Loved Me down…until it hits you in the nose because you’re reading in bed, silly.


About Tim Vandehey & Annie Greer


Annie Greer is a certified veterinary chiropractioner, radio host, animal behaviorist, farmer’s wife and AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator who, with her veterinarian husband, Kent, runs three animal clinics and a 40-acre farm in Apopka, Florida. Tim Vandehey is a journalist, ghostwriter and book collaborator who has written more than 35 books since 2004 in the sports, self-help, memoir, spiritual, financial, business, and healthcare genres. His recent published co-authored works include Blindsided (with Jim Cole, St. Martin’s Press, 2010), Running on Faith (with Jason Lester, HarperOne, 2010), Produced by Faith (with DeVon Franklin, Simon & Schuster, 2011), and I’m Here to Win! (with Chris McCormack, Center Street, 2011). Tim lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife and two daughters.


The Chimp Who Loved Me is Tim and Annie’s latest hilarious endeavor.

You can visit their website at www.thechimpwholovedme.com.


**Review copy provided by author. I received NO monetary compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Post from Author and Pet Blogger Lou Belcher!


Pet Blogging: A Labor of Love

Lou Belcher is the author of The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps). Her post today is about one of her passions: pet blogging. Lou is a blogger, writer, editor and photographer. She has four blogs that keep her busy.



She started blogging with two blogs designed to help artists and authors. It was only natural that she would give her cat Max a blog and Twitter site in hopes of breaking through the trouble she was having finishing a book about him. Now, Max's blog has taken on a life of its own. It's no longer Lou talking about Max, but Max has taken over in his own voice and his personality comes through loud and clear. Today's post is about her start as a pet blogger and the purpose she has found in this endeavor.


I have been a freelance writer and editor for many years. I happened into pet blogging incidentally. Initially, I started blogging to bring some attention to artists and writers in Florida. My first blogs were Brevard Art News (a blog about art in Brevard, Florida) and Florida Book News (a blog about Florida writers, their books, writing organizations and events). Immediately, I loved the process of blogging. I liked the connection with readers and the immediacy of it. Therefore, it was only natural when I reached a sticking point in a book I was writing that I put up a blog in an attempt to get un-stuck.



You see, before my cat Max died in 2008, I had started a book about him. After he died, I just couldn't work on it. One day, I decided I had to finish it. To ease back into writing about him, I gave Max his own blog. It did the trick. At first, my writing as Max was a bit stiff. I searched for other pet bloggers to get a feel for how they did it. I found a variety of approaches. I (or Max, that is) began to talk to other bloggers by commenting on their blogs and through chatting with them on Twitter (@MaxTheQuiltCat). Soon enough, Max found his voice.



Max's blog is diverse. He blogs about daily events, such as the time a fish fell from the sky near a local restaurant and the staff made Lucky (the fish) into their pet. That day, Max put out an alert to all cats to get out in their yards: "Fish are falling from the sky!" He also writes book reviews, blogs about pet products, and blogs about anything that has anything to do with dogs, cats, and pets of all varieties. He loves to write poetry, but he doesn't do it that often. And, he writes short stories in the first person where he is the hero, of course. There are pet blogs in many formats. At MaxTheQuiltCat.com, Max blogs in the first person. That works well for him. Other bloggers blog about their pets in the third person, and still others blog by posting photos or drawings with captions or youtube videos.



No matter the format, pet blogs seem to have several common threads: to raise awareness on how valuable pets are, to inform others about the connectedness of all species, and to help raise funds and/or find forever homes for animals who need them. In addition, I've found one important common factor: pet bloggers really care about one another. They are quick to help each other, to send followers to one another, and to offer assistance when another blogger seems to be having a rough patch. I must admit... At times, I'm a little jealous of Max. His blog often gets a bigger response than my other blogs. I guess that's why I find his blog the easiest and most fun to write... of course, that might be because he practically writes it himself. Please feel free to visit Max and leave comments for him. He loves to hear what others think. http://www.maxthequiltcat.com/

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan

The next post in Readers Heart Animals Month is a review of an upcoming memoir featuring a brave soldier and his faithful service dog. I finished it in no time because I was so caught up in this story. I read about a lot of things that growing up with a veteran of Korea I had seen before. For me, I was able to connect with this book through the reading, the story of Luis, and of course Tuesday. I laughed and I cried and I was interested in reading this Luis's point of view on things. If you enjoy memoirs or dog stories then this may be one to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed it. About The Book: (From Amazon) A heartwarming true dog story like no other: Tuesday, a lovable golden retriever, transforms a former soldier's life forever Excerpt: "Tuesday combines a golden retriever's innate playfulness and bouncy exuberance with a noble bearing and seriousness of purpose. But it is not his beautiful coat, or even his regal attitude, that attract the stares. Tuesday has an extraordinarily expressive face. He has sensitive, almost sad eyes, but they are more than offset by his big goofy smile. He can't pass anyone without flashing them a sly look with those eyes, as if to say, sorry, I'd love to play, but I'm working. He just makes a connection; he has a personality that shines. I am not kidding when I say it is common for people to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of and with him. Tuesday is that kind of dog. And then, in passing, they notice me, the big man with the tight haircut. There is nothing about me--even the straight, stiff way I carry myself--that signals disabled. Until people notice the cane in my left hand, that is, and the way I lean on it every few steps. Then they realize my stiff walk and straight posture aren't just pride, and that Tuesday isn't just an ordinary dog. He walks directly beside me, for instance, so that my right leg always bisects his body. He nuzzles me when my breathing changes, and he moves immediately between me and the object--a cat, an overeager child, a suspiciously closed door--any time I feel apprehensive. Because beautiful, happy-go-lucky, favorite-of-the-neighborhood Tuesday isn't my pet; he's my service dog." **Review copy provided by publisher. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest Post and Blog Tour: Rocsanne Shield "Save Magic City"

Joining us today is Roscanne Shield with a guest post about the story behind her book. Grab your coffee and sit with us for a moment! (I apologize for the format since blogger seems to be acting wacky.) ********************************************* The Story Behind "Save Magic City" ********************************************* After retiring, I got lots of time to look around me and take stock of the changes that had taken place while I worked. The world is dominated by corporations who conduct their business in a globalized way. They change work forces the way we, plain humans, change clothes. As soon as a new poorer country offers better conditions, the factories and offices move and the old work force is "let go". That means that men and women are left without the means to continue life as they knew it. The process of finding new jobs entails such stress that families split and children suffer. I believe firmly that people should help each other when misfortune strikes; the need to put something on paper became an obsession. While writing, I changed from Romance to Children's Fiction. Save Magic City was born. I was watching an animated movie when I realized that Edmund, who lived in 13th century England, had to come to our times. In the movie, a child finds a huge robot. In my novel, the child finds armour, with somebody inside! After the first three chapters, it became clear that he was brought to the year 2007 by Leona, who needed someone to help her help the city. My book focused on how to help people in a small community, where the major work supplier left and has taken their living means away. Leo, eight, needs a father figure, to love and grow to resemble. Edmund fills the role to perfection. Leo is the glue; he unites all the characters around their common goal -- to save their town from death. Squirrel can act as a perfect PA as she can hear people's thoughts as well as tell them things without words. She keeps the leaders informed, and helps Edmund to listen to the needs of the different teams who are working over the city, performing repairs and asking for help to find specific materials for their work. She also named the teams "Ganny/grampy teams". Raccoon is the resident Internet wizard and he sets up the lists of needs, volunteers and ideas, and them helps Leona find the most pressing needs. He also finds a lawyer willing to volunteer his work for the good of the city. He is the one who keeps his calm in moments of danger and need. The town becomes a unit and they might as well adopt the Musketeers' logo -- one for all and all for one. The children surely live by that. To read their story, go to my website http://www.rocsanneshield.com/. You will find an excerpt of "Save Magic City"; if you are intrigued to hear more, you can purchase my book there as well. Save Magic City is also available for purchase at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble "Save Magic City" is an excellent book for adults who want to teach their children the importance of caring for each other and the environment they live in. My book makes great reading and you will, I hope, tell others about it too. ************************************************************** About The Book: ************************************************************** Hurled into the time flow by a banishing spell, 13th Century Edmund lands in the USA, in 2007, in answer to Leona's fervent prayers for help to save her town. The corporation employing the townspeople has left, the bank’s foreclosures have created whole streets of empty houses, people are leaving in droves... the town is slowly dying. A black magician in his own time, Edmund is forbidden to do any magic if it is not for helping other people. He discovers and is fascinated by the magical powers of the Internet and wants to bring instant relief to the townspeople. But Leona, who does not trust their dependency on magic, forbids him to do so. Leo, Leona's adoptive son, and his friends, Squirrel and Raccoon, accept the magic with enthusiasm and do their best to help the town survive. When misfortune strikes, Leona gives her blessing for Edmund to use his magic.S

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee

Post 2 for Readers Heart Animals month is a review of a new book by Linda Francis Lee. I received this one a little while ago and it didn't take long for me to whiz through it. The story was exceptional and the characters are great. While there is a lot of sadness there is also a lot of hope. It's all about living your life, standing up for what's right, and second chances. I'll admit to having shed some tears while reading it but that's what makes a good book. One that can make you emotional is usually a winner in my eyes. If you enjoy dog stories then I'd say to check this one out. It's certainly and enjoyable and entertaining read! ************************************************************************************************ About The Book: (From Author's Website) Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies. Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man? **Review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own. I was given NO monetary compensation for this post.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review and Blog Tour : Reunion by Jeff Bennington

I'll tell you that I love horror in all shapes and forms...books. movies, etc. When Jeff contacted me about Reunion I was excited because it's not very often that I get horror requests and these are actually my favorites. ************************* I jumped on the chance after reading the blurb because it sounded like a great storyline with subject matter that isn't touched on a lot. ************************* The characters in this one were very relatable and the storyline itself was scary even without the supernatural elements. I enjoyed reading about the characters after they left school and finding out what had become of them. It made for an interesting read and gave some great background for when they came back together. ************************************************* The book certainly gave me the willies and got my heart pumping at times. I would say that if your a fan of the genre then this might be one to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed it and know that I'll be keeping my eye on this author in the future. ************************************************* About The Book: ************************************************* David Ray killed eight students and then turned the gun on himself. He thought the shooting and suicide would fix his world. It didn't. The massacre threw Tanner Khan and the other survivors into chaos. ************************************************ Twenty years later, Tanner and his fellow classmates reluctantly agree to hold a reunion to lay the past to rest. Although they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they come back to their hometown and reunite in the defunct school building. *********************************************** Old flames are rekindled, fears are ignited, and their lives are about to explode in a whirlwind of memories, haunted by the spirit of David Ray. Once they're inside the school, they discover that a dark entity has joined them. It has come to collect a debt, long overdue, and someone has to pay. Will Tanner and his classmates overcome their fears, putting the pieces of their lives back together, or will they be consumed by their worst nightmare? ********************************************** Find out more at Jeff's website here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway Info from Author Jeff Bennington


Hi Kris…I mean, Cajun Book Lady.


Thank you for having me. I’m looking forward to sharing a few details about the characters in REUNION with you and your readers. But before I start, I want to remind everyone that I’m giving away 2 FREE Kindles on May 15th – one will go to a REUNION Blog Tour follower and one will go to a REUNION Blog Tour host. For details about the book, the Kindle giveaway rules, blog tour dates, and blog topics, go to jeffbennington.com. (or have a look at the end of this post.) Meet the Survivors Now, let me get to the business of telling you about REUNION and the characters that bring it to life. To begin with, REUNION is a supernatural thriller that begins the morning that David Ray, a troubled teen, shoots and kills a teacher and seven of his classmates. The first three chapters are comprised of a two and a half hour period where the students live out a typical morning as the school year comes to a close. David Ray, however, is lurking in the shadows of his bedroom, listening to his demons, and preparing to fix his world - hoping to finally seize control of his life by controlling the lives around him.

In these chapters, you’ll meet seventeen-year old David Ray. You’ll see life through his eyes, feel what he feels, and dream his horrific nightmares. You’ll also meet Tanner Khan, an underdeveloped, happy-go-lucky, smarty-pants who has a crush on Lana Jones, the most beautiful girl that has ever graced the senior hallway of Crescent Falls High. Then there’s Noah Berkley - the star-studded foreign exchange student, Maria Vasquez – the hip valedictorian, Bryan Jacobs - the pre-med hopeful, all around great guy, Kate Schmidt – the dressed in black, hair over her eyes, goth, who has dreams of art school, and Nick Tooley – the jerk who just loves making life miserable for “nerds” of every kind. They’re a typical group of kids… until David enters the school. REUNION is about a ricochet in time where one moment, one decision, one dark and sinful choice changed everything. Trauma will do that, you know.

When you first meet the kids from Crescent Falls, you’ll get to know who they are before they go through one of the most traumatic experiences…a school shooting. Unfortunately, by the time the last bullet shell hits the floor these characters change forever. All of their hopes, their plans, and their dreams come to a crashing halt. Traumatized and unable to handle the life they’ve been given, Tanner, Kate, Nick, Bryan, Maria, Lana, and Noah are suddenly forced down a new path, unknown and unwanted. They suffer from various degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; in some cases, worse than a soldier who’s been in military combat. As the creator of these brave individuals, the challenge was to not only form believable and interesting teenagers; I had to turn around and grow them up into traumatized adults and create a new life that is realistic and representative of the original person. But I’m amazed at how much I learned from them. They inspired me by their wisdom, insight and honesty into subjects that without them, I would never have explored on my own. I guess that’s why I love writing. I think I get more from the book than anyone else, because to me, writing is as much a healing and learning process, as it is a creative process.

That sounds strange doesn’t it, an author learning from his characters? Makes me laugh just thinking about it. I guess I always thought writers knew everything about the characters because he or she created the story, like a god spinning his all-powerful web of life and death and destruction. But in fact, I think the opposite is true. I think I dream up my characters to answer my own unanswered questions - questions about love and life and death and the horrific realities of a fallen world. Thanks for reading. Be sure to “follow” The Cajun Book Lady and then go to jeffbennington.com to learn more about the book and the tour. And most importantly, be sure to show your support by purchasing REUNION on April 15th so it can shoot up the rankings through buying en masse.


REUNION ISBN: 9780615450865

Release Date: April 15th. I'm trying to merge the digital and print release on the same day. If your readers would like to buy a copy, I'd love it if they'd buy it on April 15th so that my rating goes up, giving the book more exposure.

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10467702-reunion (Reviews are coming in!)



Also available on Apple ibook, Nook, and in Print.

Kindle Giveaway Rules: I am giving away 2 Kindles: 1 to a lucky blog follower, and 1 to a luck blog tour host. I will post a video on May 15th (last day of the tour) and have my children pick a winner from each group (followers/hosts).


There are only two (2) simple rules:

#1. Buy REUNION and email your receipt to reunion.kindlegiveaway@yahoo.com by May 13th.

#2. Comment on one or more blogs on the REUNION Blog Tour.

Goodreads Giveaway: I will also host a 2 book Goodreads giveaway during the course of my blog tour (April 1 through May13th). Goodreads will contact winners. I will mail a signed copy to each of the winners.

To see the full tour schedule and topics, go to jeffbennington.com


**Make sure to stop in tommorrow to see my review of Reunion!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway from Author Ingrid King

For our first guest post during Readers Love Animals month we have author Ingrid King!


Ingrid King is the Author of "Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher"Winner of the 2010 Merial Human-Animal Bond Awardwww.ingridking.com She is the Founder and Publisher, The Conscious CatConscious Living, Health and Happiness for Cats and their Humanswww.consciouscat.net

Meet Virginia, the office cat who came before Buckley


Buckley, the star of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, was my office cat at the animal hospital I managed for eight years before she came home to live with Amber and I. She wasn’t the first one, though. Not the first tortie, and not the first office cat. Before Buckley, and even before Amber, there was Virginia.

I first met Virginia when I went for my first interview for the hospital manager position at the animal hospital. The hospital was owned by a husband and wife team. I had spoken to Janet on the phone briefly before my interview, but really didn’t know what to expect. This was in the days before every animal hospital had a website, so it was a lot harder to get information ahead of time. While I didn’t know much about them, I knew what I was looking for in a potential employer as far as practice philosophy, and in addition, I was looking for a clinic that had that intangible right “feel.”

As soon as I walked into the waiting room of the hospital, I knew I had found the right place. There was an old-fashioned wooden bench, a rocking chair, and the walls were covered with photos of dogs and cats. A large free-standing cage held several kittens. When Janet came up to greet me, I was even more sure. I instantly liked her. She took me back to her office and began the interview.

After a few minutes, a beautiful tortoiseshell cat walked into the office. “That’s Virginia,” explained Janet. “She’s one of our two hospital cats.” Virginia proceeded to walk over to me, looked up at me, and then dug her claws into my legs and used them as a scratching post. I wondered whether that was part of the interview – a test, perhaps, to see how I would react? In hindsight, I realized that, of course, this was the moment she marked me as her own. I had dressed up for the interview and was wearing a skirt and pantihose – I can honestly say it was the first and only time in my life I left an interview with runs in my pantihose caused by kitty claws! The interview went well, and I left feeling hopeful that I would be offered the job. A couple of weeks later, Janet called to invite me to go out to dinner with her and her husband Jack. We sealed the deal over dinner, and I spent the next eight years managing the animal hospital. And the fact that Virginia was part of the deal only increased my happiness. She was estimated to be about ten years old. She was FIV positive. FIV is the feline version of the aids virus. It is contagious, but is primarily spread through bite wounds. Casual, non-aggressive contact does not spread the virus, and it is not zoonotic, which means it cannot be spread from cat to humans. However, Virginia’s owners were not comfortable keeping an FIV positive cat and had left her at the animal hospital for euthanasia. Somehow, the hospital staff never got around to it, and by the time someone remembered, she had wormed her way into too many hearts for them to go through with it.

Virginia was the poster child for “tortitude” – that unique personality of tortoiseshell cats. She had definitely read the manual. She was feisty, independent, and set in her ways. The only other animal she liked was Marmy, our other hospital cat, a sweet, wise, old medium-haired orange cat. You could often find Marmy in his cat bed, with Virginia curled around him, squeezed into the small bed with him. She liked most of the staff members, but this was not always mutual. She thought nothing of using her claws if she felt like someone wasn’t doing her bidding (ie, petting her properly, feeding her on her schedule, or committing any number of transgressions only she knew about). None of these were exactly the kinds of qualities you’d look for in a hospital cat. At one point, early on during my time as manager, there was talk of sending her to a nearby sanctuary for FIV positive cats. I was nervous about doing so, but I set an ultimatum: if Virginia went, so would I. Thankfully, by then Janet and Jack had come to rely on me, and took my “threat” seriously. Virginia got to stay.

She loved me fiercely. She was at the door to greet me each morning. When I took a few days off, the staff would tell me that she’d been looking for me, and when I returned to work, the look on her face made it clear that she did not appreciate being abandoned like that.

She had her routine, and it didn’t vary much from day to day. In the morning, she would sleep in a cat bed I had placed in front of a sunny window on my desk, next to my computer. Even though she was napping, she still woke up frequently enough to make sure that I paid attention to her, often clawing at my “mouse hand” to get my attention. As lunch time got closer, she would park herself on the bench in the exam room adjacent to my office, which is where most of the staff gathered for lunch each day. She loved to mooch off of peoples’ lunches, with morsels of meat or cold cuts and yogurt, especially peach flavored, being favorites. For four years, she made my office my home away from home. She showed no symptoms of her disease. Then, in the spring of 2002, she started to decline rapidly. She seemed to lose energy, and her always healthy appetite started to wane. She couldn’t make it to the litter box in time and had frequent accidents outside the box. She wouldn’t come to greet me at the door in the mornings.

An ultrasound showed that her heart and liver were in bad shape. So on a sunny April morning, we decided that it was time. I spent her last morning in the office with her in her bed by my side. When I wasn’t crying, I was calling staff members who were not on duty that day to let them know, in case they wanted to be present for her final moments. I held her on my lap in the office, surrounded by all the people who had been a part of her world, as she took her last breath. I don’t think there are many cats who got the kind of send off she did.

I still miss her. She was my introduction to and beginning of my love affair with torties. She still has a piece of my heart.

About Buckley's Story:


Buckley’s Story is the story of how one small cat changed the author’s life in ways she never could have imagined. In this warm-hearted memoir, Ingrid King shares the story of Buckley, a joyful, enthusiastic and affectionate tortoiseshell cat she meets while managing a veterinary hospital. When Ingrid leaves her job at the veterinary hospital to start her own business, Buckley comes home to live with her and Amber, another tortoiseshell cat who had adopted the author several years earlier.

Buckley is diagnosed with heart disease after only two years of living with Ingrid, and caring for Buckley through her illness only deepens the bond between cat and human. Interspersed with well-researched information about cat health in general, and heart disease in particular, the author describes the challenges and rewards of managing illness in a feline companion, and ultimately helping her through the final transition. Ingrid shares both the day-to-day joys of living with a special cat as well as the profound grief that comes with losing a beloved animal companion.

Buckley’s Story is a celebration of the soul connection between animals and humans, a connection that is eternal and transcends the physical dimension.


Where to Find Ingrid Online:


Connect with me onFacebook www.facebook.com/ingrid.king



Giveaway:


Thanks to Ingrid I have one copy of Buckley's Story to give to one lucky US Winner.

To enter please leave a question or comment for Ingrid.

+1 if you spread the word about the giveaway or the Readers Heart Animals Month!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just a reminder!

Starting Friday we'll be celebrating animals both big and small in a month long special including guest posts and reviews. We have some great guest posts coming from authors, publicists, readers, bloggers, and a few famous felines and canines....all who love animals and want to share some animal awarness issues with us.

April is Prevention of Cruelty To Animals month so I hope you will all stop by during the month to see what's in store.


Please feel free to spread the word, post the picture and link it up on your blog, tell a friend, whatever you'd like. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Early Review: Wither by Lauren Destefano


I have to say that I thought this one was exceptional! I love YA and this one really had it all IMO.
The characters were great and compelling while the story totally took me by surprise. I was expecting something much different but I was delighted by what I got.
Lauren Destefano and The Chemical Garden Trilogy are defenitely ones to watch. I can't wait to read the rest of this series and follow Rhine and Gabriel through their journey.
About The Book:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
About The Author:
(From Goodreads)
Lauren DeStefano (pronounced: de STEFF ano) graduated Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2007. Her debut novel, WITHER, the first in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, is due to hit stores in March 2011 by Simon & Schuster BFYR.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway from Author Heather Wardell



Joining us today is Heather Wardell who writes women's fiction and she is going to be talking to us about reoccuring characters in stories. Do you (the reader) like it? Or would you rather new characters every time.

Stay tuned to the end so you can find out more about the giveaway!

Three of my five novels feature recurring characters. A hot restaurant owner named Kegan shares male lead duties in the first one (my free download "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo"), makes a guest appearance in "Go Small or Go Home", and takes on the lead role in my newest book, "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused". In addition, several characters from the first and second books reappear in the third, some as brief guest appearances and some as fairly major characters.

I didn't intend to do this, since I don't particularly want to write a series. Nothing against them, but I've always enjoyed finding and exploring new main characters too much to want to rehash what I've done before. But as I wrote the first draft of "Go Small or Go Home", Kegan just showed up and seemed to fit. I liked how his presence added to the book, so since then I've watched for opportunities to bring in my past characters.

So far the readers who've commented on this seem to like it, but I still see both advantages and disadvantages. Let's look at a few of each and then I'll tell you what I plan to do in the future.

Advantages

1. Readers can find out what their past favorite characters are up to. This is obvious, but that doesn't make it any less true. If you've read and enjoyed a novel, you've invested something of yourself in the characters and their stories. It's only natural to want to see what they're doing after the book is over. If they made a career change, do they regret it? If they fell in love, is that still working for them? Seeing them again in a future book lets you find out.

2. The world of the book can seem more real. We do often re-encounter people we've known before, so I think it can feel natural and normal to have book characters re-appear. Forrest Williams, the hockey star male lead of "Go Small or Go Home", is friends with Kegan through Kegan's brother who also plays hockey, so when I began Kegan's book it made sense to me that he would be there. Knowing that the other characters continue to live their lives makes the world seem richer.

3. Readers (and authors!) can see characters in a different light. I loved bringing Forrest back in "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused". I loved him in "his" book, and it was so much fun to see him through a new main character's eyes. Readers have mentioned they liked that too.

Disadvantages

1. What if you hated Kegan? Now he's back again, and then AGAIN? If he did nothing for you the first time, you're unlikely to want to read my third book that's all about him.

2. Continuity becomes an issue. Keeping track of how long it's been between books in the "book world" can be difficult, and I don't want readers hung up on wondering if I've done that timeline correctly. I know sometimes when I'm reading I find myself thinking, "This doesn't seem to fit with when the author says it happened," and I would rather not make my readers think the same thing. Kegan is founding a restaurant in my first book, which Forrest and his leading lady Tess visit in the second. I had to make sure that when Tess says, "It's only been open three months" that was reasonable given the month it opened and the month she was there. (I know the vast majority of readers won't notice this, but I will and it'll bother me unless I do it right!)

3. It can feel forced. I have a cameo appearance in my current book, which is still in first draft, and I'm not at all sure I like it. It has the feel, at the moment, of a joke that's all set-up and no punchline. I like what happens during the appearance but I'm not positive the same people will still be there by the time the book is done. I definitely don't want to get into a "I have to bring someone back for every book" mindset, since sometimes it won't work.

4. Deciding how much backstory to give is a challenge. If a reader's read all of my books, they just need a refresher about the person's history. If they haven't, they probably still only need that same refresher, since the book isn't really about that person. For example, in "Go Small or Go Home", my main character's sister is an alcoholic. That sister appears in "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" but I don't touch on her addiction. Why? Because in the scenes where she appears, it's not relevant, and the main character of that book would never know. I wanted to mention it, though, because it's part of her story. And that's the danger: that the author gives more backstory than is needed and the reader, whether new to the stories or not, gets bogged down in irrelevant information.

So, given the pros and cons, what will I do in the future? I'll continue bringing characters back into my books when it feels right and natural. I think that the depth and entertainment value it can add to a story is worth the careful attention needed to make sure it's done right.

What do you think? Do you like recurring characters? I'd love to know why, especially if you don't. :)

**
Heather Wardell writes women's fiction with depth, humor, and heart. She has five novels available now, one for free download and the rest for $0.99 each. You can read excerpts at http://www.heatherwardell.com/
**

Now For The Giveaway!

Heather is offering one print copy and three ebooks!

To enter please leave a comment on Heather's question: What do you think? Do you like recurring characters? I'd love to know why, especially if you don't. :)

+1 to new or old followers

+1 if you spread the word in any way

Monday, March 14, 2011

Feature and Giveaway: The Truth About Vampires by Theresa Myers




As part of Theresa Meyers Bewitching Book Tour we'll feature her The Truth About Vampires AND offering an awesome giveaway for a signed copy of the book!



About The Book:

(From Amazon)

All her life, Seattle reporter Kristin Reed sought her breakout story. She never thought she'd find it in the crimson lair of a real-life creature of the night. Kristin never believed vampires existed—until with dark brooding eyes and a decadent chocolate scent, Dmitri Dionotte called out to her….

Dmitri and his clan's true nature was cloaked in secrecy until a warring vampire order threatened their existence. Kristin was just the woman he needed. She couldn't resist their story…or Dmitri. Her blood pulsed hot and furious when he touched her, and with his kiss, all logic fled. But each night she spent with her vampire lover brought her closer to death and destruction. A death not even an immortal could triumph over.


About The Author:

(From Amazon)

The progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot. She started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed, writing as a freelancer for newspapers and national magazines.
It wasn't until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993, that she seriously began to pursue a career in fiction. In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She has since sold several novels and novellas. She writes paranormal and historical romance, Steampunk, Young Adult books and some Middle Grade fiction.

Theresa firmly believes in love and first sight. Afterall, she's married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her little brother sit between them in the backseat of the car (which is a whole other story. They've been married over 20 years.
They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their children, four cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden. When she isn't writing, reading, watching movies (her favories include Stardust, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Lost Boys and too many others and the television series Supernatural) she's usually having tea with her friends, volunteering at the school or outside enjoying the flowers. If you're curious to know more, you can always find her website online, or visit with her on Twitter and FaceBook.

Theresa is offereing one signed copy to one lucky US winner! To enter please leave a comment with a way to contact you!

+1 for new or old Followers
+1 if you spread the word in any way!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quickie Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger


If you haven't picked this one up yet I say "Do it now!" I really adored this story and everything that came along with it. I thought it was honest and real and I felt familiar with the main character. It's wonderfully written and I think it's basically just awesome!
About The Book:
(From Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

**Guest Post from Alayna Williams: Author of Rogue Oracle

Today we welcome Alayna Williams, author of Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle, two fabulous books! Grab your coffee and sit back with us for a few! My apologies for not having it up sooner! Yikes! It's Mardi Gras day and I guess I'm uber distracted!

Facing Fears: The Tower
by Alayna Williams

I wrote both Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle with a deck of cards at hand – much like my heroine, Tara Sheridan, a criminal profiler who uses Tarot cards to solves crimes. Whenever I get stuck on a character or plot point, I shuffle the cards and pull out one at random. More often than not, I can find something in the symbolism of the image that captures my imagination and propels my writing forward.

When I was developing the outline for Rogue Oracle, there was one card that haunted me more than any other. One card that kept coming up whenever I shuffled the deck and spread the cards out before me: The Tower. The Tower depicts a disintegrating structure at night, struck by lightning, from which two people fall. The traditional meaning of the card has to do with old ways of life collapsing and a new order taking its place. It's about destruction, an event after which nothing is ever the same again.

There was always something about the Tower that bothered me, that frightened me on a deep, subconscious level. Something distantly familiar. I looked at its image in several other decks before I realized what it symbolized to me for this story: the disaster at Chernobyl, almost twenty-five years ago.

One of my childhood fears was Chernobyl. I was in middle school when the news reports began to filter in that something terrible had happened in Europe...that a Soviet reactor had melted down, breached containment in fire and invisible poison. The Ukraine seemed a thousand worlds away. And I was less than a bystander, an ordinary kid on an ordinary street in the U.S.

But something about the story captivated and frightened me. I remember seeing some pictures of Chernobyl on the news, of an industrial plant not quite so different than those plants that surrounded me where I grew up where my dad worked. And seeing fire. And the rumors about plumes of poison moving over Europe, unstoppably.

It made me shudder. I remember that my mother turned off the television when we were in the room.

But the story of Chernobyl - of the people who died immediately in the fire, those who died after of horrible cancers, of secrets and something invisible that could kill more effectively than an army - it seemed to seep into the minds of the adults. I remember that my class was shown a film about radiation in the school library. I don't remember what it was called, but I remember that it was pretty graphic. It talked a lot about Hiroshima. Poisoned radioactive organs in jars. A man in a perfectly pristine white T-shirt who was covered in radiation burns. Almost a supernatural horror - more terrifying than the books about the making of classic Dracula and Frankenstein movies that we were reading.

It did give me nightmares. And I think many of the other kids.

And I guess that it never did completely dislodge from my memory. The black shape of the containment structure, the Sarcophagus, reminds me so much of the shadowy tower in all its supernatural power.

And because it scared me, I knew that this was the concept to pursue. I would put my heroine on the trail of a Chernobyl survivor who was selling old nuclear secrets on the international black market. I would take her to the place that I dimly remembered from old television footage, now sharpened by research. I made Tara walk through the tall grasses and stand before the Sarcophagus. I'd let her feel the prickle of radiation on her skin, taste the metallic tang of the rain, let her see the bird's nests wedged into the splitting seams of the structure.

I made her stand in the shadow of the Tower, the closest thing I could connect to such a fearsome symbol in the real world.

And...it does still scare me.

About Rogue Oracle:
(From Author's website)

The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams - suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…

Here are the rest of the tour stops:

March 9 Guest Author at Just Viewshttp://www.justviews.net/
March 10 Interview and Giveaway Book of Secretshttp://bookofsecretsblog.com/
March 11 Interview at JoJo's Book Cornerhttp://jojosbookcorner.blogspot.com/
March 14 Review & Giveaway at Michelle's Book Bloghttp://michellesramblins.blogspot.com/
March 14—SOS Alohahttp://sosaloha.blogspot.com/
March 16 Interview at A Buckeye Girl Readshttp://lovesromances.blogspot.com/
March 17 Guest blog at Pearls Cast Before a McPighttp://mcpigpearls.blogspot.com/
March 25 Interview at Vampire Wirehttp://www.vampirewire.blogspot.com/

**Review: Rogue Oracle by Alayna Williams


I loved the first book and was equally excited to read this one! I'm so glad that I did! Alayna once again did a great job with her story.
I love her character building because it seems there is always one more layer or bit of depth to each one. They don't get boring for me.
Of course her plot building is also excellent and there is a surprise around every corner.
If you're an Urban Fantasy fan and you haven't checked out this series yet then I suggest trying it out!
About The Book:
The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams - suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…