Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Babs Book Bistro.  Up for grabs is a book of the winner's choice at The Book Depository up to a $10 value.  It's open international (if The Book Depository ships to your country).  Just fill out your name and email so I can contact the winner in the Rafflecopter below and you are entered.  All other entries are optional.

NOTE: Some of you are expressing problems with entering your name and email addresses.  Let me reassure you there is no problem, you are probably signed into Rafflecopter with Facebook. As part of the new and improved Rafflecopter when you are signed in with Facebook it puts your name and email in automatically.  I have checked your entries and they are fine as long as you hit enter for that first entry (name and email).  If you don't sign into Rafflecopter with Facebook you should still have to put in your name and email.  So sorry for all the confusion.  If you still feel you are having problems with this or any other problems with the form, email me at crystalfulcher(at)  Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Slideshow for The Hurt Machine by Reed Farrel Coleman + Giveaway

Hurt Machine by Reed Farrel Coleman
View more presentations from Fauzia Burke

About Hurt Machine:
"The biggest mysteries in our genre are why Reed Coleman isn't already huge, and why Moe Prager isn't already an icon."—Lee Child

At a pre-wedding party for his daughter Sarah, Moe Prager is approached by his ex-wife and former PI partner Carmella Melendez. It seems Carmella's estranged sister Alta has been murdered, but no one in New York City seems to care. Why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I found this one through the Goodreads giveaways.  I enjoyed The Secret Year, and this looks good.

Try Not To Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Publish Date: 1/19/2012
A dark and provocative novel from the author of The Secret Year

Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough—or cared enough—to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again.

Jennifer R. Hubbard has created a riveting story about a difficult but important subject.

So what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
Paperback, 322 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 978-1461071792
Birthday Trilogy #1

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
Happy Birthday to Me was a very surprising book.  I found it hard to put down and liked that it had a great message along with a humorous storyline.  Cameron is a very interesting character and I love how Mr. Rowe really works with him in this novel to show him coming full circle in his character.

I like to start with characters because while I love a good plot, I still find that I need really good characters to make a book stellar for me.  Happy Birthday to Me had some very interesting characters.  First there is Cameron who in the beginning is the typical popular jock, dating the school beauty queen guy.  He gets what he wants when he wants and he knows it.  You get a sense there is more to him, but he can't quite get to it because of the image he needs and wants to project.  He has his best friend since grade school Wesley, who isn't the popular guy's typical best friend, but they keep hanging out anyway.  They don't always see eye-to-eye, but Wesley is a good friend to Cameron and I hope to see some more of him.  There is also Cameron's parents and sister who actually play a role in his life.  His mom a little more than his dad, but his dad is a busy plastic surgeon.  I like that Mr. Rowe really portrays a real family situation with Cameron's family.  It is far from perfect, but I would say it is pretty typical.  There are several other characters who are great but I don't want to give too much away.  Cameron is definitely the star of the show and it's his transformation that makes the book.

As for the plot.  This definitely kept me turning the pages.  As I opened the book I thought I would read the first few chapters and take a break.  The next thing I knew I was halfway through the book.  It just flew by.  I was hooked.  The chapters are broken up by the day as Cameron ages and I was completely drawn into the story and how Cameron and his friends and others around him handled his disease and what would eventually happen to him.

In the end I loved this book and I look forward to reading the second installment in this trilogy for review as well.  Mr. Rowe has a writing style that flows easily and makes reading his book a joy.  I also look forward to seeing what will happen in the next book - I'm not giving anything away, but it should be interesting!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Parental guidance: Definitely for the 14+ age group.  There is some language, but it is spaced throughout so it's not like it's in every sentence.  There are also some sexual references throughout the book that makes it for the older age group.  Again as I have mentioned in other reviews, probably nothing that 12+ hasn't read or heard before, but if you like to be careful about what your kids read, here is the information.  Nothing over-the-top that made me think it was too much for a young adult book. It seems very typical for a 14+ book.

About the Book:
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day. High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a mischievous pretty boy who has never had to face a day looking anything but perfect. It starts with a slowing metabolism, followed by gray hair, wrinkles, and heart palpitations. Within days his girlfriend dumps him, his plastic surgeon father forces him to get a facelift, and his terrifying high school librarian seduces him to have sex with her. All he wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a young woman who may or may not be an all-powerful witch, he realizes that the only hope for his survival might be with the one person who instigated his condition in the first place...

About the Author (from 
Writing Fiend. Book Devotee. Film Fanatic. Constant Dreamer. Author of SLATE and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.


FTC Information: I received this book from the author through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Got a new ereader? Here's some freebies for you!

Did you get a new ereader for Christmas?  Or do you already have one?  I got a tablet for Christmas to add to my Kindle and I was excited to get this email from one of my favorite author/friends the other day about some freebies he is offering this week.  So if you haven't tried out Scott Nicholson, here's your chance.  If you have, then here is your chance to score a few of his books you may not have.  And while you are there, be sure and check out some of his other books, I'm a huge fan of The Skull Ring which is one of today's freebies.  His books are different and can't really be pigeon-holed into one particular genre, so as you can see there is something for just about everyone below.  If you are afraid you are too squeamish for his books, the ones I have read aren't too bad (and I can get squeamish).  And the ones I have read have a great amount of suspense along with interesting characters to make great books.  So check these selections and his other books out!

I must also note that Scott seems like an awesome person through email and vacations near me so that makes him even cooler.  So go get his freebies and then buy some of his books on that coolness factor alone ;-)

Monday/Tuesday: Duncan the Punkin color children's book great for Kindle Fire families

Tuesday/Wednesday: The Skull Ring suspense thriller

Tuesday/Wednesday: As I Die Lying psychological thriller

Wednesday/Thursday: October Girls YA paranormal fantasy

Friday/Sat/Sunday: Head Cases horror story collection

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review: Full Tilt by Creston Mapes (Rock Star Chronicles #2)

Full Tilt by Creston Mapes (Rock Star Chronicles #2)
Publisher: Multnomah Books
E-book, 400 pages 
Fiction, Christian fiction/thriller/suspense/court drama

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review:
I was excited to read book #2 in the Rock Star Chronicles, my review of Book #1, Dark Star can be found here.  Full Tilt did not disappoint.

Mr. Mapes uses more of the back and forth writing to keep the story interesting, this time going back and forth between the characters instead of back and forth between times.  And while the focus is still mainly on Everett, Full Tilt starts to include more of Everett's family as well.

It's definintely a wild ride and at times scarier than some of the horror books out there.  As a mom, I find "meth" a terrifying drug.  We actually had the first "meth" bust in our county just down the road from my house (we live in a rural area and thankfully drugs aren't a huge problem yet).  But meth is just bad and Mr. Mapes emphasizes that in this book.  Everett is back in this book trying to walk the Christian walk and do all he can to bring others to know Jesus including his brother, Eddie and his family who are still in shambles dealing with his son's death.  It's heart-wrenching at times and at others you just really want to smack Eddie and Sheila (and that's the point).

Mr. Mapes has done another great job crafting interesting characters and making a captivating and believable plot that kept me turning the pages.  The action was so great at times I had a very hard time putting the book down.  I felt very invested in the characters and look forward to the next installment in the series.  I think Mr. Mapes does a great job crafting the story around a Christian theme.  The Christian element never seems forced.  I enjoyed the book as a whole and cannot wait for my tour stop for book #3 next month.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Check back next month on December 22, for my review of the next book in the series Full Tilt.

About the Book:

What Good Can Become of Psychotics, Meth Users, or the Mob? In this sequel to Dark Star, rock star Everett Lester is eager to share the redeeming power of Christ’s love with the world through his music. But reaching his family in their twisted lives is another issue altogether. His gambling-addicted brother, Eddie, and the rest of his deteriorating family greet Everett’s attempts with disdain and hatred. When the Mob gets involved, dangerous threats become a haunting reality. And when Eddie’s son, Wesley—who blames Everett for his brother’s death—hooks up with psychotic Tony Badino, the two meth-using antichrists will stop at nothing to bring Everett down and secure his demise!

About the Author: 
Talented storyteller Creston Mapes graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1983 with a BA in magazine journalism. Since then, he has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries. He has written for Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Focus on the Family, Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, and The Urban Alternative. His stories have been featured in magazines including Private Colleges and Universities, In Touch, Leaders for Today, and The Hockey News. Creston makes his home in Georgia.


The rest of the tour schedule can be found here.

FTC Information: I received this book through Media Guests for an honest review.  

I do make a small commission on purchases made through the links to The Book Depository and B& on this blog.  Money made through these links will be used to host giveaways and to pay shipping on giveaways for the blog.  Thanks for helping.

Book Excerpt: Scorpio Rising by Monique Domovitch

Announcing the Scorpio Rising Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Scorpio Rising eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including 2 Kindle Fires, Amazon gift cards up to $100 in amount, 5 autographed copies of the book, and 5 autographed copies of its recently released sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio. Be sure to enter before the end of
the day on Friday, December 23rd, so you don’t miss out.



To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Scorpio Rising for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on
    Novel Publicity
    to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book
    or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance
    at $100!

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes
for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win
a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest
entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Blogaganza on Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We’ll ask the writer 5 fun and random questions to get everyone talking. Leave a comment or question in response to the post, and you may win an autographed copy of Scorpio Rising or its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest!
A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a read that's full of love,
drama, and betrayal? Scorpio Rising has been reduced to 99 cents! #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Scorpio Rising book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Scorpio Rising book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a Kindle Fire! Two are up for grabs! Visit Monique’s website to leave a comment on any of her posts and sign-up for her author newsletter. One person will win for each method, so be sure to do both.

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Scorpio Rising: Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio Rising takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes. Alex Ivanov is the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns
to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves. Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser. Monique Domovitch’s debut novel, Scorpio Rising, is a compelling tale filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio Rising promises to resonate with all who once had a dream. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About The Sting of The Scorpio: In Scorpio Rising, Monique Domovitch presented a compelling tale filled with colorful characters and the manipulation of power, ambition, and greed. Now she gives
us its spellbinding sequel, The Sting of the Scorpio, where Alexander Ivanov returns to New York with his new bride, Brigitte. The real estate industry is ripe with opportunity. Blessed with irresistible charm, ambition, and the single-minded obsession to succeed, Alex plots and manipulates his way to almost mystical success. Everything he touches turns to gold, but it’s never enough. When a hostile takeover bid leaves him struggling to save his beloved company, he suspects those closest to him of plotting his
downfall. Brigitte, the beautiful redhead who abandoned her country and her career to become his wife, feels alone. In return, Alex has betrayed her time and again, each indiscretion cutting deeper into her soul. Brigitte’s son, David yearns to be an artist, but Alex’s plans leave no room for such frivolous goals. He grooms a reluctant David to become the heir apparent until a devastating tragedy attracts the attention of another young man. The Sting of the Scorpio is a rich tale of a man at the mercy of his own greed and a woman bound by her need for love. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Monique Domovitch began writing at the age of fifty-five. Two years later, she has two self-published novels—her Scorpio Series—and a three-book deal with Penguin, for books she has written under the name of Carol Ann Martin. Never seen without her laptop, Monique and her husband travel the world and divide the rest of their time between their homes in British Columbia and California. Monique loves to hear from readers! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Now please enjoy this beautiful excerpt from Scorpio Rising...

Half way around the world, Brigitte Dartois also liked drawing. Rather than buildings,
her pictures were of her family—Papa, Maman, and herself under a bright
sun. Sometimes she drew trees and flowers. Her subjects were the same as any other
child’s her age, but her pictures were different. They were strong and arresting.

“Viens voir, Colette,” her father called her mother. He held up a bright
drawing of a garden. “Regarde, don’t tell me our daughter is not talented.”

Colette Dartois looked, but to her, those colorful scribbles were no better than those of
any other nine-year-old.

She shrugged. “You shouldn’t compliment her too much. It will go to her head. Brigitte,
put that away and go do your homework.”

Often, Colette would look at her husband and her daughter with vague discomfort. He
paid so much attention to Brigitte and so little to her. Every day when Louis Dartois
burst through the door after work, it was Brigitte to whom he opened his arms after
a perfunctory kiss to Colette. Gradually, Colette’s love for her husband and daughter
festered into resentment and jealousy.

Then, when Brigitte was thirteen, her father died suddenly. Three months later, her
mother married Lucien. “Consider yourself lucky. Not many men are willing to be a
papa to a grown girl like you. You better be nice to him.”

Brigitte was filled with anger, betrayed by her mother's indifference. One night, when
Brigitte was alone in the house with her stepfather, she awakened to a pair of rough hands
moving over her body. “This will be our little secret,” Lucien told her when she opened
her eyes. “If you even think of telling anyone, I'll kill you,” he said. Then he raped her.

Her mother worked the evening shift as a barmaid at a club down the street, and for
the next three years, it became a nightly ritual for Lucien to stop in for une petite
caresse, as he called it. Every night he gave her the same warning. “You tell
anyone and you're dead.” Sometimes he went into gruesome details of what he would do
to her if she ever told. Brigitte believed him. So, she kept her mouth shut.

Once, she was the top student in her class. Her grades began to slide until she was close
to failing. She slept at her friends' flats whenever she could. At home, she was silent and
withdrawn. Her mother barely noticed.

“What's the matter with you?” Colette asked. “Get your act together. You keep it up and
you'll be kicked out of school.”

One night while Lucien was in her bed and forcing himself on Brigitte, the bedroom door
flew open. Her mother stood in the entrance, an expression of horror on her face. Lucien
jumped up and fumbled with his trousers. “It's the girl's fault,” he said, his voice coming
in halting breaths. “How's a man supposed to resist? She's always coming on to me. As
soon as you leave in the evening, she takes off her camisole and lets me see
her body. Colette, you've got to stop her, she's trying to break us up!”

“Get out!” Colette shouted, and her voice was like ice. The girl sobbed in relief. At
last, her ordeal was over. She would never have to see her stepfather again. “You're no
daughter of mine. Get out you putain.”

In shock, Brigitte realized her mother was speaking to her. She had lost! Lucien had won!
She dressed as quickly as she could, threw a few of her things into a pillowcase, and
slipped silently down the hall to the closet where her mother kept her purse. Sorry,
but I'll need this more than you will. She took all the cash she found. Then she left.

Two days later, a sales-help-wanted sign in a store window caught her eye.

Author This or That: Kimberly Reid (My Own Worst Frenemy)

Today I welcome Kimberly Reid, author of My Own Worst Frenemy, the first novel in the new Langdon Prep series.  She's here to tell us whether she prefers this or that.  Thanks Kimberly for joining us.

You can find my review of My Own Worst Frenemy here.

Breakfast or Brunch?
Brunch: It’s two meals in one so I can choose something rich like Belgian waffles, salmon crepes or eggs Benedict – oatmeal and yogurt have no place at a proper brunch. Plus, sometimes you get to have champagne. That’s so decadent in the middle of the day.

Regular Law & Order or SVU?
Regular: That was one of my favorite cop shows because it showed both the investigation and prosecution of a case. I always compare it to what I know of the process from my parents and husband, who all work in the law business. Between them, two have worked for the police, two for the prosecution, and one for the defense – so I had a chance to learn all sides of real life cases, including sitting in the courtroom for some of the jury trials they worked.

Sedan or Sports Car?
Sedan: I drive a sedan because it’s practical, but I’ve been fantasizing about driving a Ferrari since I was a kid. One year I thought I was cute and put it on my Christmas list, and my mom gave me a model Ferrari – a red 308 GTS. I still have it, right here on my desk, and I still dream I’ll one day have an extra half million lying around so I can buy one. While I’m dreaming, I’d also like a Lamborghini Gallardo in yellow.

Laptop or Ipad?
Laptop: I need a real keyboard. I don’t play around either – I have a laptop for writing, one for online stuff, plus a netbook. I’m mostly old school, but I used to work in the tech world and like my gadgets. My current favorite is a Wacom graphic tablet. Very fun, except it keeps me away from the laptop, which is bad for deadlines. I should probably have someone hide it from me until I finish the book I’m currently working on.

High Heels or Flip Flops?
High Heels: But not the crazy five and six inch heels. I need to be able to walk in them and I’m not super coordinated as it is. Heels don’t require your pedicure to be perfect, and have more support than Flip Flops, so they’re more practical than they look. This is what I tell myself when I leave DSW with heels that probably won’t get much wear since I mostly work from home in a T-shirt and yoga pants.

Trip around the world or trip to the moon?
The world: I love to travel and there are so many places on the planet I haven’t seen yet. My favorite part of traveling is discovering the food and music of each new place, and they don’t have either of those things on the moon.

M&Ms: Peanut or Plain?
Peanut: I delude myself that the protein makes them more nutritious.

Hair: Short or Long?
Long: I recently cut my hair short for the first time in a couple of decades. I’ll probably grow it out again – though I’m having fun with it being short, so you never know…

Necklace or Bracelet?
Bracelet: I have a ton that I never wear. I’m always at a keyboard writing a book or creating a spreadsheet at a day job, and bracelets get in the way. But I wore them all the time back in the day, before I had to earn a living on a computer.

Take a walk or go to the gym?
Walking: It clears my head and lets me think through life stuff while I get a little exercise. It’s also my favorite time to brainstorm book ideas and work through problems in my manuscripts. Bonus: when you live in Colorado, there’s no shortage of scenery.

Write at home or write somewhere else?
At home: I need perfect quiet for first drafts so I wake crazy early, before the rest of the house is up. For revising and editing, I can deal with some background noise, but I still need to be in my home office. The problem with working from home is fighting the urge to do normally boring stuff that suddenly becomes critical and/or interesting when I’m in writing procrastination mode – things like folding laundry, paying the bills, or cleaning the oven.

Spring or Fall?
Spring: I love the promise of it. Spring fever is a very real condition and lucky for me, I always catch it.

About My Own Worst Frenemy
Straight outta the Mile High City, Chanti Evans is an undercover cop's daughter and an exclusive private school's newest student. But Chanti is learning fast that when it comes to con games, the streets have nothing on Langdon Prep.

With barely a foot in the door, fifteen-year-old Chanti gets on the bad side of school queen bee Lissa and snobbish Headmistress Smythe. They've made it their mission to take Chanti down and she needs to find out why, especially when stuff begins disappearing around campus, making her the most wanted girl in school, and not in a good way. But the last straw comes when she and her Langdon crush, the seriously hot Marco Ruiz, are set up to take the heat for a series of home burglaries--and worse. . . .

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Living Violet by Jaime Reed

Living Violet by Jaime Reed
Publisher: Dafina/Kensington
Publish Date: December 27, 2011
Paperback, 295 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
 ISBN: 9780758269249
The Cambion Chronicles #1

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review:

I found Living Violet refreshing on several levels.  First the biracial angle.  It wasn't played to the hilt, but there was one point in the book where she mentions how it's tough to be biracial.  I guess I didn't realize it was still that way, I thought society was more accepting now, but I should have known there are still problems with people being accepting.  Samara is an awesome character and that is reason two I round Living Violet refreshing.  It's not just her race, it's her.  She's sure of herself, but still has insecurities, but she's not willing to compromise her values to get a guy or anything like that.  Her mom has raised her better than that.  That leads to reason three, her mom and dad are in the picture, which is pretty amazing in a young adult novel.  And they have rules and curfews.  Wow!  Reason four, simple, the twist on a paranormal plot is pretty cool and I didn't see a lot of things coming.  It kept me turning pages plain and simple and I'm ready for the end of May to be here to read the next book.

Is that enough for you?  Seriously, Living Violet has interesting characters, from Samara who I have mentioned to Caleb who isn't your typical hottie, but there is something about him.  I loved Nadine and I also really liked Samara's mom and dad as well.  Each character added something to the story.  As for the plot, Caleb's power is interesting and I like how Ms. Reed uses it in the book and how she builds on the story a little at a time as I was learning about the characters.  The tension kept building and building and just when I thought I knew what was going on, I found out I didn't.  It really kept me turning the pages, not only to see what would happen, but just because I cared about the characters.  I hated turning that last page because I didn't want it to end and I did something I don't often do, I read that preview of the next book.  I don't really like to do that, I don't like teasers and I just want to read the book when it's out.  But I couldn't help it, I had to read it.  Now I'm dying for the end of May and for Burning Emerald.

In summary, I loved it, couldn't get enough of it. I read it Saturday while my youngest was sick with a stomach bug and I was silently praying I would not get said stomach bug.  And with headphones in to tune out obnoxious cartoon my son was watching, I was transported to Williamsburg, Virginia and to what was going on in Living Violet.  It was a great escape for an afternoon.  Oh and the humor, I forgot to mention the humor.  The author has a wicked sense of humor in the book and I found myself laughing throughout.  It's a snarky sense of humor that I appreciate, so it added to the book for me.  So read it. Enjoy it and I pray if you have children or you are in school yourself you or one of those you love doesn't have to get a stomach bug for you to make time to read it.

And please Dafina/Kensington Teen if you are reading this, send me Burning Emerald when it comes out :)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Parental guidance: Language scattered through the book, but it's mild and hit or miss.  Sexual references through the book, but all is in reference, nothing graphic.  Recommended for ages 14+.

About the Book:
He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

About the Author (from 
I write young adults fiction. Book 1 of The Cambion Chronicles comes out 01/ 2012. I’m represented by Kathleen Ortiz of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.

I’m also a self-proclaimed movie and music snob with a playlist for every occasion in life. I’m freakishly tall with large feet, and I have a slight obsession with the gym, cool 80’s references, and orange soda. My weapon of choice: sarcasm.

Teen fiction always captured my interest and I appreciate the newness of that time, and well, I get nostalgic. Right now I’m on a serious paranormal/ fantasy kick. I’m all about the weird and my stories explore cool mythical creatures not many people have heard about. I try to create characters who are people of color. There aren’t enough of them in young fiction and there should be more heroines of different backgrounds battling the forces of evil. Let’s face it, the extraordinary can happen to anyone.


FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review & Tour: Enduring Light by Carla Kelly

Enduring Light by Carla Kelly
Publisher:Cedar Fort Publishing
Publish Date: January 8, 2012
Paperback, 392 pages 
Fiction, Historical, Romance
 ISBN: 978-1599559841

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review:
This is another books, that while I was reading and when I finished, I just thought, "Wow".  The story is poignant, it's beautiful.  It has meaning and love.  It has one of those love that goes past the mushiness and the superficial.  When I think of Paul and Julia, I think of a love for all eternity and a deep and abidinig love that nothing that can stop.  Ms. Kelly crafts this love into this story and does a beautiful job with it, making it believable and so interwoven into the story and into your thoughts as you read it that you can't put it down.

Enduring Light is the second book in the series that started with Borrowed Light which I did not read.  And while I felt slightly lost at the beginning of the book.  I quickly was filled in on what was going on and got  a feel for the characters.  Once I got a feel for the book and characters I could not put the book down.  That is when the story really took on a lilfe of it's own for me.  Ms. Kelly just seems to have a way with a romance novel.  She made the setting, the life of being a cattle rancher's wife and the life of being a Mormon come to life.  And all the while kept me enthralled with the love story and a little bit of suspense on the side as well.

One of the many things I love about this book is even though Paul and Julia are striving to live a live according to the teachings of The Book of Mormon and their spiritual leaders, Ms. Kelly never shys away from the romantic elements of the book.  It's not overt, but you know that Paul and Julia enjoy themselves.  Everything is off the page, but their relationship is very heated and passionate like newlyweds saving themselves for marriage would be and I like that she showed that without being graphic about it.  There is also quite a bit of humor during the book.  I often found myself chuckling out loud while reading at some of the antics of Paul and his workers and even Julia who is no shrinking violet.

That brings me to the characters.  Julia and Paul are just amazing.  Julia is a strong female who loves her husband and wants to do right by him.  Paul is every bit a virile cattle man, but when it comes to Julia, he would do anything to protect her and anything to help her.  They share their secrets, they share their love.  You just have to read it to see.  I promise if you enjoy romances, historical or not, you will enjoy this one.  I must now go back and read Borrowed Light because I want more of these two and I want their back story.

Timeless, heart-stopping romance.  Amazing characters. A plot that will keep you interested from the first page to the last.  An interesting historical backdrop of the old west during the early 1900s all made Enduring Love a winner in my eyes.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
Julia Darling is finally able to marry Paul Otto for eternity. But it’s a harsh world for a rancher in turn-of-the-century Wyoming, especially a Mormon rancher. When alienation and threats begin, Julia must prove she’s her husband’s equal in strength and endurance as she learns to let go of scars on the outside and inside.

Bestselling author Carla Kelly has woven a new story of a determined rancher, his wife, and how they discover the depths of love.

Book Poster Page

About the Author: 
A newcomer to Cedar Fort, Inc., Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New york and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two rita Awards (think oscars for romance writing) from romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America.

Recently, she's been writing regency romances (think Pride and Prejudice) set in the royal Navy's Channel Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars between england and France. She comes by her love of the ocean from her childhood as a Navy brat.

Carla's history background makes her no stranger to footnote work, either. During her National Park Service days at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Carla edited Friedrich Kurz's fur trade journal. She recently completed a short history of Fort Buford, where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881. Following the "dumb luck" principle that has guided their lives, the Kellys recently moved to Wellington, Utah, from North Dakota and couldn't be happier in their new location. In her spare time, Carla volunteers at the railroad and Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. She likes to visit her five children, who live here and there around the United States. Her favorite place in Utah is Manti, located after a drive on the scenic byway through Huntington Canyon.

And why is she so happy these days? Carla looks forward to writing for an LDS audience now, where she feels most at home.
Carla Kelly's Website
Carla Kelly's Facebook

Here's the schedule for the rest of the tour, make sure to check out some of the rest of the stops.

Links to the Publisher:

Buy from B&N:

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. 

Note: I earn commission on purchases from The Book Depository and B&  Any profits made are used to fund shipping and giveaways on the blog, so any purchases you make are greatly appreciated!

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
I saw this one in Shelf Awareness a week and a half ago and was captivated by the concept and it immediately went on my wishlist!

The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss
Publish Date: 1/17/2012
One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself...

The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.

THEODORA GOSS won the World Fantasy Award in 2008 for her short story “The Singing of Mount Abora” and has been repeatedly showcased in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror series. She lives in Boston, where she teaches literature at Boston University. Illustrator SCOTT MCKOWEN lives in Stratford, Ontario

So what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: Real by Shelley Malcolm

Real by Shelley Malcolm
Photographs by Terilee Dawn Ouimette
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publish Date: December 16, 2010
Paperback, 156 pages 
 ISBN: 978-1452056715

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
Real is a great coffee-table type book.  It's one to just leave out and pick up and read a few pages from now and then and look at the beautiful and heartfelt pictures.  Yes they are just pictures of hands, but paired with the stories they become so much more than that.  They become the pictures and stories of people's hopes, dreams, love, search for balance, wisdom, acceptance and so much more. 

Search the table of contents and look for the topic that interests you that day and read a story or just randomly turn to a story and I doubt you will be disappointed.  Most of the stories I read really spoke to me.  I enjoyed the writing set against the pictures of the hands.  I felt this book was an interesting concept that was well-executed and I look forward to exploring more and more of this book in the weeks to come and I hope visitors to my house will also take the time to open and explore and find out what is between the covers of Real.  Maybe they will find the story that will speak to their heart on that day.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0
About Real and Shelley Malcolm:
REAL” is a collection of 60 inspirational stories by Shelley Malcolm, with photos by Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Subjects range from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity. While “Real” is her first published book, Malcolm is no stranger to creative projects, as co-owner and restorer of an historic chapel, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach, CA, and a set designer for theater and film. Shelley Malcolm was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation and other charities. Shelley Malcolm graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in dental hygiene. For more information, please visit or Shelley Malcolm resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband, Doug. 

Shelley has four adult children. Her interests include painting , drawing, sculpting, building, playing piano and other musical instruments, outdoor activities including hiking, ocean kayaking, running, water and snow-skiing, international travel, sewing, reading, writing and others. Visit for more information.

The notecards they have available for purchase: 

Link to the Tour Schedule

Real - The Book from David Malcolm on Vimeo.