Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: Owlet by Emma Michaels

 Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.
Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

Thoughts: Iris biggest problem is she isn't able to express how she feels because of her asthma. She can't run or get too riled up for fear of an attack. So, when she learns that her whole life has been a big lie, she does the only thing she can think of, run...but it usually goes much more smoothly in her dreams. There is an island covered in white feathers and a boy, she seems drawn. Crippled by the thoughts that she is the reason her mother died, she must learn to see the truth in the midst of all the lies and decide her own path. 

I think this is a unique concept that the author has created with the birds and humans. Iris in this book is in the dark for the most part and she is gradually being shown what has been hidden from her for so long. They spend so much time keeping things from for fear that she is too fragile to handle it but she seems able to manage emotional just fine for someone to learn that she is a part of a secret society and that someone tried to kill her. Iris’s journey to find herself takes up a large part of the book and at some points I got a little lost in all the details. The pace was slow for me but the overall story is sweet, I liked Iris's innocence and vulnerability. I'm interested to see how things unfold for her in the next book.
Excerpt for Read-A-Long

“She is a part of you now, too, isn’t she?”


“Don’t worry, I won’t scold or blame you. You are a part of her now as well, if you are mates and she remembers. At the gazebo, hurting you also hurt her. I could see it. I can’t stand in between you both again or who knows what will happen. I have never seen her like that before. I better go call Roger and update him. He was hoping to get here by morning but I think he is afraid he might be followed and that golden retriever will start getting lonely if I keep his master busy for too long. Do you think Roger will be followed?”

“He will be,” Falcon said; his jaw clenched tight.

"Then let’s hope he can lose their tail.”

Author Bio
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel 'Owlet' is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma.  While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer.

As the founder of The Writers Voice blog ( she loves to connect authors and readers. As a book blogger turned author, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, until she moved at eighteen to Washington State. Suddenly, the world was a new place filled with tall green trees that reached further for the sky with every moment, making her want to do the same. Ever since, she has tried to make her life something new and different from what it was before, pursuing her future career, setting high goals and reaching for them. With the support of her fiancé, Chihuahua, and her amazing blog followers and fellow bloggers, she wants to prove to the world that anything is possible and help inspire fellow literary lovers to reach for their dreams. 

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favorite Characters of 2012

In no particular order these are my favorite characters from my 2012 reading list with a few 2013's in the mix!

Noah & Echo

Galen & Emma
Kate & Henry
Yukiko & Buruu
Mila (2013)
June & Day(2013)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Audio Review: Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Author: Francisco X. Stork 
Narrator:Carrington MacDuffie   
Title: Irises
Publisher: Listening Library   
Format:Unabridged Audio CD 
Length: 7 hrs, 28 mins 
Publication: 2012 
Source: Library

Two sisters discover what's truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.
TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.
THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own. 
ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.
IRISES is Francisco X. Stork's most provocative and courageous novel yet.

Thoughts: This is one I listened to months ago and couldn't get into it. The narration has a drowsy tone to it and I found myself easily distracted from it. Several times I would turn it off  and then return to it later just to take a break for a moment. This particular book does not lend well into the audio format and possibly would do well in print. The sound quality is good however, it just isn't for me. Now, the story itself is an interesting read about sisterly love and sacrifice. The sisters journey to discovering how to live their lives without sacrificing their family. When is it time to let a loved one go? Will the ultimate choice tear them apart, forever or strengthen them?This is what Kate and Mary must decide. Overall, this would be a good read about family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Interview: Jena Leigh Author of Revival

About the Book
Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter  
Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life. If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is. After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe. Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.
Chat with Jena Leigh
Tell us a little about what inspired you to write this story?
Much of the inspiration for my characters and their personal struggles came from my own experiences in high school and college... And I’m pretty sure the rest came about as a result of my addiction to bad sci-fi and comic books. I’ve taken bits and pieces from my own life and from the world around me and channeled it all into Revival.

Where do you like to write?
Anywhere and everywhere. I seem to do my best work in unfamiliar places. I’ve written on planes, at the mall, in doctor’s office waiting rooms… If I have my computer or a journal with me, I’ll usually try to get a few words on the page. There’s something about traveling that helps me to tune out distractions and focus, while at the same time inspiring me to write.

Favorite T.V. show right now?
Doctor Who! I’ve got a soft spot for science-fiction and for British television, which basically makes Doctor Who the perfect fusion of my interests. Although, I have to admit, tied in second place right now is every paranormal prime-time show on the CW—The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast… I love them all!

If you were somehow able to jump into your most loved story, which one and what character would you be? Why?
I always wanted to wake up one day in Harry Potter’s world. Hogwarts, magic, Butterbeer and adventure! Now that’s a world I’d love to live in! If I could be any character, it would probably be Hermione. I admire her quick wit, independence, her fierce loyalty toward friends and her strength. She’s wonderful!

Who was the hardest character to write?
The character in Revival that I had the hardest time writing was probably Nathaniel. He’s a complex guy with an even more complicated backstory. His history (and his prior relationship with Alex) is brought to light in the second book in the series, but during Revival his past is constantly influencing his actions and decisions, especially where Alex is concerned. His feelings toward her are straightforward, but his motivations definitely aren’t. Writing his scenes was always a challenge, but one that I really enjoyed!

If you had the chance to go back in time, where would you go past or present? Why?
If I ever got my hands on a time machine (or better yet, a TARDIS) I’d probably spend the rest of my life going to concerts! Seeing Led Zeppelin rock Madison Square Garden or The Allman Brothers play the Fillmore East would be amazing. I can just imagine slipping back to Mississippi in the late 1930s and watching Robert Johnson wail away on an acoustic guitar playing “Cross Road Blues,” or dropping by Woodstock, New York in 1969 before seeing Beethoven performing in Austria in the 1800s. I would finally be able to witness all of the concerts I missed out on by being born just a decade (or a couple of centuries) too late!

Are there any projects in the works?
Actually, there are two! The project I’m focusing on right now is the sequel to Revival—book two in The Variant Series. With any luck, it will be available in the Spring of 2013! The second project is a bit of a secret for now, but stay tuned!

Invisibility or flight?
Flight, definitely. My favorite dreams are always the ones where I realize that I can fly and find myself soaring off to new places. I’d love to experience that sort of freedom!

Guilty pleasure?
The band Nickelback. I know! I know. There I was going on and on about legends like Robert Johnson and Led Zeppelin while I’m secretly listening to one of the most loathed rock bands of the last two decades. Their lyrics are, admittedly, a bit ridiculous—but the music is just so darn catchy. And Chad Kroeger’s growl is kind of attractive. We all have our weaknesses. Apparently mine is Canadian rock bands with dubious reputations.

If there was a question that you wished an interviewer would ask you, what would be the question and the answer?
My author bio mentions that I have an incurable love for bad sci-fi movies. I’ve always wanted someone to ask me which of the movies was my favorite. I’d almost certainly answer them with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension… It might just be the most fantastically awful (awfully fantastic?) thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a movie about a physicist/neurosurgeon/test-pilot/rock-musician (by the name of Buckaroo) and his loyal band of misfits, the Hong Kong Cavaliers. It stars Peter Weller, John Lithgow and Christopher Lloyd. And as a bonus, Jeff Goldblum spends most of the movie parading around in a red cowboy costume complete with a large hat and oversized furry chaps. What’s not to love?

About the Author
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Jena Leigh spent ten years in the mountains of North Carolina before returning home to the lightning capital of North America. A shameless geek, she loves bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, writing cracktastic e-mails to friends and taking shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts. She has a degree in English from Appalachian State University. REVIVAL is her first novel.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Promo: Untimed by Andy Gavin

Get ready for a YA time travel adventure that will have the hours flying by!

Untimed, author Andy Gavin’s latest release, is finally out!
No one remembers Charlie’s name. He falls through holes in time. And a clockworkman is trying to kill him. But there’s an eighteenth century Scottish girl who can bring him back home – assuming they don’t destroy history by accidentally letting Ben Franklin get killed.

Andy’s previous novel, dark fantasy The Darkening Dream, has been well-received by fans and critics alike. Publisher’s Weekly called it “gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying.” Untimed is an even more ambitious follow-up. It is a lavish production with a cover by acclaimed fantasy artist Cliff Nielsen and twenty-one full page interior illustrations by Dave Phillips.

About Untimed
Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get

really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time
travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the 

You can find Untimed the ebook on Amazon | Paperback 

Read the first two chapters here

About the author
Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president fortwo decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and bestselling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. 
Learn more about Andy Gavin.
Get all reviewer information here 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Author C.W. Trisef the Oracle Series

What does writing mean to you?
Great question.  Writing means everything to me.  At times it is relaxing and therapeutic.  Other times it is fun and energizing.  Bottom line, I love writing and hope to make the Oracle series a huge success.
 Why do you think dark fairy tales are so popular right now?
I'm not into the "dark" side of things, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer this question.  I prefer more fun and wholesome adventure, which is why the Oracle series is appropriate for all ages.
Where do you like to unwind and regroup?
When I "unwind and regroup" it usually involves music.  I have found that wholesome music is a powerful medium for inspiration.
Favorite book?
Obviously biased, my favorites books are "Oracle - Sunken Earth" and "Oracle - Fire Island" (books 1 & 2 in the Oracle series).  Book 3 will be out early 2013.
If you had the chance to go back in time, where would you go past or present? Why?
 If time travel were possible, I'm not sure I would be as interested in the past, as in the future.  For no other reason, just to know which stocks to invest in.  :)
Do you enjoy writing the antagonist or protagonist point of view?
 I think I'd rather write the protagonist.  In real life, the good guys always win (I truly believe that).
Are there any projects in the works?
Yes, several projects.  My first is to finish the Oracle series.  It is a planned 7-book series, with 2 already released, 1 coming in 2013, and then 4 more in subsequent years.  So the Oracle series project will keep me busy into the foreseeable future.  Beyond that, I have another epic book series planned, but it will be a 3-4 book series, not 7 like the Oracle series.
Favorite holiday dessert?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and my favorite dessert would have to be Sour Cream Peach Pie with some Egg Nog to wash it down.
Choose one: Invisibility or Flight? Why does your choice appeal to you?
Probably invisibility, but flight would be equally as cool.  Invisibility because it would allow me to better research the mysteries of our planet (by the way, that's a plug for the Oracle book series).  Visit for more info.
If there was a question that you wished an interviewer would ask you,what would be the question and the answer?
The question would be: "How can I purchase one of your books?"  And the answer would be: "Go to where you will find the books available in both paperback and e-book for very cheap prices."

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Guest Post with Tony Viardo, CEO of Astor + Blue Editions

Digital Publishing: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?
by Tony Viardo, the CEO of the publisher, Astor + Blue Editions

So how many articles have we read about E-books and Digital Publishing this year? For anyone who generally follows the book world (rabid booklover, book-blogger, industry pro or casual reader), we’re literally inundated with the amazing numbers—“E-book sales up 125% (again) over the 175% they were up from last year’s 225% increase!”—and equally amazing technological announcements—“Next Fall, the new ZimWittyZoomDitty tablet not only updates your Facebook and Goodreads friends whenever you snort in disgust … it cooks dinner for you at the same time!”

This leads many to take at least casual stock of what’s going on/going to happen to the “Publishing World” as we know it.  And if your friends are like my friends (hardcore print book consumers), that stock is usually pretty morbid (sharp Greenwich Village angst not included): “Print books are doomed, so are brick-and-mortar stores. Goodbye literary quality. Oh and some pajama-wearing techie living in a basement with a laptop is going to be the new Sulzburger; we’ll all have to bow down!”

If you (or that good friend of yours) fall into the mortified category, my take (for what it’s worth) may come as positive news:  E-books are not, and will not be, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas; in this case, the “Print World’s” bacon. Now, as the owner of a “Digital First” publishing house (Astor + Blue Editions) my opinions may easily be written off as self-serving and invalid.  But bear with me for a minute… these are fact-based observations and I might just make sense (Someone tell my mom and dad).

As someone who earns a living from publishing, I have to follow numbers and industry trends as closely as possible.  And while some see doom and gloom for Print, I see exciting developments for both Print and E-book formats.  What do the numbers show?  Digital book revenue is skyrocketing, print revenue is declining.  Natural conclusion?  E-books are killing print books. But not so fast.  Historically, Print revenue has always seemed to be declining (even before E-books were invented), but that doesn’t mean the book market is dying or shrinking.

We have to remember that in fact the book market is growing. Readership always grows because population always grows.  Every year, new readers enter the vast pool of the club that is “adult readership,” (despite Dancing with the Stars). And every year more readers are being born and theoretically being inspired by Ms. Crabtree’s elementary reading class.  **So why the decline?  Readership grows gradually, but the sheer number of books and book vendors grow exponentially, showing an investment loss almost every year. (Basic statistics: the widening universe makes it look like a shrinking pie when it isn’t).

So what does this mean?  If you look at the numbers (historically), revenue for print books may have declined, yes, but not more than “normal,” and not significantly more than it did when there were no E-books around. (This is arguable of course, but the long term numbers do not show a precipitous drop-off). The yearly revenue decline, if there is one, can just as easily be written off to economic conditions as to E-book competition.  Bottom line:  Any drop in print revenue that may be caused by E-books are not significantly sharp enough to declare that E-books are destroying print book sales.  (Hence no Grinch).

What may be happening, and what I believe is happening is that a whole new market for E-books is developing, while the print book market growth, like Publishing as a whole, is still growing at a historically gradual pace. (Boringly flat).  Come up with your pet anecdote here, but I believe that more new readers are entering the market (who otherwise wouldn’t have) because of E-readers; existing readers are consuming more books (both print and e-book) than they did before; and while it would seem that a certain print title is losing a sale whenever readers buy it in E-book format, this is offset, at least somewhat, by the fact that more print titles are being bought (that otherwise wouldn’t) because of the extra marketing buzz and added awareness produced by the E-book’s cyber presence.  All of it evens out in the end, and I believe, ultimately fosters growth industry-wide.

So take heart Print fans, E-books are not the dark villain you think they are.  And here, I should correct my earlier analogy—that E-books are not the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  They may actually be the Grinch…in as much as, at the end of the story, the pear-shaped green guy ended up not only giving all the presents back to the singing Who-villers, he created a flash mob and started a big party as well.

Astor +Blue Editions has put its entire first season’s list of e-book titles on a holiday promotional sale for $0.99 or $1.99 Click the link to view more! The sale will continue until January 7th. Check out the titles below. 

Amazon | BN                     Amazon | BN

                 Amazon | BN                     

Friday, December 21, 2012

Promo:#SurrenderBookTour by Rhiannon Paille


Surrender by: Rhiannon Paille
Mini URL for Tour Page:

About the Book:
How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?

Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn't listen, and because of what she is-- a Flame-- one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

About the Author:
I was never a normal girl. My life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape my everyday weirdness I began writing fantasy. I studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. I'm married to a chef/comic book shop owner and I have a fondness for architecture. I frequent twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know me you should visit my site:

Find Rhiannon Paille
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Promo: 99 Authors, 99 Books, 99 Cents

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!


Cover Reveal: Wrecked by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Wrecked by Alyssa Rose Ivy (Clayton Falls, #3) 
 Publication date: Spring/Summer, 2013
Cover designed by Once Upon a Time Covers

When your past catches up, it's time to stop running.

Jake Mathews messed up yet again— but this time his misstep lands him in the hospital. He wakes up to find the girl of his dreams and the memory of having his deepest secret revealed.

Emily Taylor needs a break. She's been working double shifts as a nurse just to pay the bills while trying to heal a broken heart. The last thing she needs is to fall for a patient.

Strapped with community service and the knowledge that he's disappointed everyone in his life, Jake is determined not to let Emily slip through his fingers. Emily wants Jake, but can she really open herself up to heartache again?

Author Bio
Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

More in this Series 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop

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Review: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittermore

Author: Shannon Dittermore
Title: Angel Eyes 
Publication: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Book Description
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee.

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and an incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.
Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.
Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices begin.
A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.
Thoughts: With everything she has seen and experienced within the last few months Brielle wonders why would a God that can move mountains do nothing to spare her mother or her best friend lives. She herself learns firsthand how instrumental human beings are in the saving of other lost souls. Weighed down by her grief, Brielle becomes the target of an evil so dark and twisted that yearns to rip her apart. She meets Jake, who she is drawn to and has the power to help her get through the cold that she always feels and he begins to open her eyes to a different possibility...that angels exist. Struggling to overcome her own disbeliefs, Brielle must come to terms that God is real; hopefully she will realize it before it’s too late.

This was a spiritual journey for Brielle. I liked the message in this book that I received and maybe others will get a different perception when they read it. Brielle is an okay character, she very doubtful and at times frustrating but it's nice to see her gradually open up and begin to believe. The relationship between her and Jake isn't steamy or anything but innocent and sweet except for a part that reminded me of Twilight for moment, however this is very different from the intense relationship of that series. It's a good story about good and evil as well as spiritual beliefs and sacrifices. Overall, the story moves slowly but the characters are alright. I would recommend for teens looking for a good balance between Christian and paranormal fiction. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Feature & Giveaway: Witching Curse of Kin

What would you think if one day you found out you had powers, the kind of powers that you could only dream of.The only problem was, you had to relearn them so you could break the curse that made your uncle immortal.Would you take on that kind of deal so you could watch your favorite man die?Nera certainly doesn't want to. And to make matters worse she has an incredibly handsome god for a teacher and protector.A problem you think? Nera does. They clash at every turn, both stubborn and very strong willed.The race is on for Bones to get her magic up to scratch before it is too late.The demons are rising and all hell is breaking loose around them.No one sees what is coming and Nera is heartbroken when Bones tells her what she has to do to save them all.But can she go against all she is to carry out his orders?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Winners for the 12 Days of Books!

The winners for Days 5 & 7 have been notified. Be sure to enter for a chance to win!

Day 1
Dizznee- Winner of Wanderlove
Josephine Patten Hawkins-Winner of an Arc of Wake
Day 2
Leannessf--Winner of Master of Misrule
Day 3
Mandy--Winner of Possession
Day 4
Jolene--Winner of Wither
Day 5
(waiting for response)
Day 6
Ricki---Winner of Anna Dressed in Blood

Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Tempestuous:A Twisted Lit Novel by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Author:  Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Series: A Twisted Lit Novel
Publication: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Merit Press
Source: Netgalley
Working off her debt to society (not to mention her father), former prep princess Miranda Prospero now wears the crown of a spinning frankfurter at her job making Hot Dog Kabobs at a Minneapolis mall. When a city-stopping blizzard strands Miranda and the mall workers with the oddest of the die-hard shoppers, she decides to wreak vengeance on the social-climbing clique who froze her out. The townies and the preps line up for battle with whatever merchandise comes to hand, while a rent-a-cop searches for what may be an armed robber. Accidentally (and literally) stuck to Caleb, a rough-cut boy with a heart of gold who would have been beneath her notice just a month before, Miranda learns more about the human heart and human nature in one night than in all of the rest of her life.

ThoughtsWhat happens when several teenagers get snowed in at the local mall? Total chaos and a bit of magic. Loaded with witty sarcasm this is a must read that has everything from mystery to romance and lots of mischief. Even though, I don't remember reading the Tempest, this stands alone fine without noticing the nods to certain aspects of William Shakespeare's work. After some light research, I discovered that in the original work the characters were shipwrecked on an island and some of them were plotting to murder some other character they felt wronged them somehow. Whereas in this book, Miranda, her classmates and other mall workers get stuck in the mall and she plots to get back at her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friends therefore wreaking havoc and starting a mini war. Miranda has the power of influence and she uses the magic of her words to make things happen. Sometimes her plans work, other time she ends up in more of a pickle like getting handcuffed to one guy that ruffles her feathers. My favorite scenes consist of the verbal banter and sparks between Miranda and hottie Caleb. In all the mayhem of playing pranks on her classmates, Miranda and crew have a bigger problem, people keep going missing and someone's stealing from the stores. In a laugh out loud comical turn the crew must learn to work together and hunt down the sticky thief and who they discover is a surprise none of them expect. 
Miranda is an intriguing character, who though aware that she has the ability to get people to do what she wants, her intentions are good for the most part. She does come off as judgmental, though she isn’t the only culprit, Caleb, the male lead has his own preconceived notions about her as well and he thinks the spoiled princess needs to get over herself. Overall, the plot, writing and characters are fantastic. A great read about getting past assumptions about people that aren't necessarily accurate and learning not to be so quick to judge with your eyes but give more thought to who a person is inside. This book is full of humor and wit, which makes it a great read for teens looking for a more modern take on Shakespeare. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review: Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade

Author: Krystal Wade
Title: Wilde's Meadow
Series: Darkness Falls
Publication: November 5th 2012 
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her Draiochtans.

Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.

Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way.

Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?

Thoughts:Katriona must return the light to Encardia that has been in the dark for years but as the war begins, she questions if it worth all the loss. She just wants to be able to enjoy being a newlywed for a moment longer but that seems impossible given the constant battles they face against the daemons. Things aren't as they seem, the creatures are behaving erratically, never sleeping or moving as they should and this is quickly wearing on Katriona and her crew. Literally, backed into a corner she must figure out how to decipher her mother's cryptic message that all the different worlds must gather together to face the evil before them. Can Katriona get it together before she loses everyone one she loves? No matter what she has to fight because once her faith falters Encardia and the other worlds will succumb to darkness, no one will be spared. 

Not my favorite of the series, I felt like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows all over again as many characters don't make it to the end. I'm not telling who but just know that it happens so suddenly and it made me sad. Katriona seems to take a step back from book two; she is not as confident or assertive. It's understandable that she feels the burden of having so many people rely on her to save the world but she was more uncertain about so many things. As she supposed to be the great leader, she has to show her strength yet she struggles much just to keep her food down, literally. Overall, the writing is good, the characters are okay and the story moves along fine just be prepared for the many sacrifices that happen and another surprise towards the end. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guest Post: Fumi Hancock Author of The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell

Building African Kingdoms, One Community at a Time with The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest Author, Fumi Hancock, her American Friends and her colorful characters in Africa.

Come, let me take you to a Land;
A Land of Deep Rich Forest;
A Land where Knowledge is our Clothing and
Unconditional Love Our Way of Life;
There is a river which flows in the Heart of this Land;
Come drink from the river of wisdom,

Our destination is Africa…..
(Fumi Hancock, 1996)

As the holiday season kicks up in full gear all over the world and as I journey on with the virtual publicity tour for my newly released Young Adult Fantasy Book, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest; I can’t help but reminisce over my experiences celebrating holidays in Africa. This great adventure called The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell beautifully brought back to my memory the wonderful times I’d shared with friends and family members, growing up in Africa. Armed with the desire to share this piece of me with my readers, I garnered up the courage, the enthusiasm and the commitment needed to tell the world how Africa can also be a beautiful place, even in its throes of poverty and difficulties.

As I share my humble and sincere heart with my readers, I continue to envision a world free of challenges, drama as we would often call them and desire a peaceful place where everyone can live in peace and harmony. I yearn for a place where children can move freely, live freely, eat freely and of course, never go hungry. It is my hope and desire that as I share my experiences with you; you will be moved to be a difference maker… reach out and touch someone in the most unusual and / or unexpected way.

To this effect, let me quickly share with you where my passion for this Young Adult Fantasy & Romance fiction emanated from…


My name is Fumi “Stephanie” Hancock. I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father, Prince T.A Ogunleye called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was now home to me. My father felt it was time to give back to Africa.


This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back to my community in over 23 years! The trip was equally important because one of my cousins, His Royal Majesty, King Emmanuel Adebayo, reigning King of Emure Ekiti Kingdom, a place tugged away in the Western region of Africa was being crowned and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots.

(Picture of His Royal Majesty King Emmanuel Adebayo & Queen)

The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety as I did not know what I was going to encounter. I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings.

What was more important was the surprise which awaited me when I arrived in the community with my Tennessean friends! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back.

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With all of this jubilation came social responsibility… to come back to the United States, let the world know of this region in Africa and help to make a difference in whatever little way I could.

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(pictures of a classroom/ school with no electricity and broke down furniture)

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(Premature babies born in rural clinics with no incubators and no medical equipment)

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(a child street hawking to raise money for food)

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(an hungry child found on a street)

The King and his cabinet had a huge task on their hands and they knew it would require reaching out to all for assistance. It is amazing how when we reach out to give someone something that we may be lacking ourselves, how it turns around and blesses us back a thousand fold. Because of my children in Africa, my life and that of my volunteers have forever changed.

We came back home, reached out to whoever would listen to our stories and began plugging away at the needs in Africa. We hosted the King and some of his 63 cabinet members to a gala in Tennessee:

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(Mayor Mike Dinwiddle, current Mayor of Spring Hill TN awarded an honorary chieftaincy title by his Royal Majesty, King Adebayo at a gala held in Franklin TN and Spring Hill declared sister city to Emure Kingdom)
To date, we currently sponsor 40 children who would ordinarily not have been able to attend school. We opened the very first state of the art library in that region ever…

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With the help of some Song writers & artists in Tennessee, Friend to an Angel a song honoring our African children was debuted and used in raising funds for our programs in Africa. (Available at:

Today, I celebrate all of my
African angels with the characters my readers will encounter in the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest. These vibrant and most times feisty characters are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “those conjured in my head.” These characters as well as my African babies have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive.

Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in these communities through my non-profit organization the
Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers.

There is more work that to be done. I am constantly in need of assistance to help move our programs forward. Our next vision for this region is to build a Youth Center for Excellence where children can converge and learn rather than be in the streets roaming aimlessly. As we celebrate our holidays here in the US and all over the world, I urge you to consider joining me in putting a smile on yet another African angel’s face at or support by picking up the song: Friend to an Angel.

I enjoyed the story of Jewel, it was fresh and in a setting that was new to me. The descriptions made me feel as if I was there. I experienced the place right along with our Jewel. Every page was beautifully written and I was engrossed from start to finish.” Review by
Sara Bree High,

Well, mission accomplished Sara. I wanted my readers to be transported to a place where they’d never been before. I wanted them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I wanted them to also see how people like them, who have travelled to live in Africa… how they adjust to the culture and setting. The characters though reside in Africa come from various parts of the world especially Europe. Enjoy the Behind-the-scenes pictures: (!behindrhescenes/ckg3)
A little about The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest book?A unique & thrilling African ambiance not familiar to many!

Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south, the rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa.
The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest magically transports its readers from the rolling hills of Bloemfontein to the beautiful farmlands of Bela-bela South Africa. It is a fantasy-based coming of age story of a rebellious 17 year old teenager who (through no fault of her own) is thrust into an environment ridden with unfamiliar and unsavory demonic activities when admitted into a prep school in South Africa.

As Jewel Cardwell is relentlessly being trailed by an unapologetic family curse, she races against time to find answers before the curse wipes out all of her loved ones.

In the midst of this demonic war, she becomes entangled in a love triangle between a young rugged-looking Darwin Morton who she grew up with on Milner Court and the very wealthy and popular high school soccer team leader with the silver spoon in his mouth, Eric Broder. TRAILER:

Portions of the proceeds made this holiday season will be funding scholarships and the Proposed Youth Center.

Discovery Quizzes:
1) What is the Mission, the Vision and the Goal of Adassa Adumori Foundation?
Clue: (a statement written in purple color)
2) Can you mention two ways you can help to create awareness and be a difference maker with the foundation?
Clues: “
Friend to an Angel”, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell, and

Description: Description: 16054376

Purchase & Review at:
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