Friday, June 28, 2013

The Reading Lounge: Feature Spotlight - Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silv...

The Reading Lounge: Feature Spotlight - Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silv...: Title: Silver Hollow  Author: Jennifer Silverwood Genre: Paranormal Romance, Chick Lit, Fantasy Romance  Pages: 379 S...

Fellow authoress and blogger, Lorraine Beaumont was lovely enough to feature me on her fantastic blog. Come and have a gander at her time travel series and her lovely site :)

As for me, I'm still helping my family handle matters with my Grandma's funeral and things. It's hard going through memories that don't just span your lifetime but the people who raised your parent as well. And humbling :) Miss and love my Grandma but we're so happy she's in heaven now and at peace with my Grandpa. Please pray for my family when you find the chance. As we've all lost loved ones at some time in our lives, I know y'all understand. :)

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: Sugar Ticket by Susan Jean Ricci




ABOUTSugar Ticket

Only a few months into their marriage and everything seems grand.  Learning to survive her marriage to Jay without the snarkiness Cindy has come to rely on is daunting to say the least.

The Sugar Ticket chronicles the marital journey of two twice-divorced adults learning to accept and embrace the sweetness of their present. When the inevitable complications arise, will the DeMatteo’s gently overcome their obstacles by alleviating the sour taste of the past? Will their third attempt at matrimony flourish? Or will they sweep their issues under the proverbial taboo-topic carpet?

Find out how these two mid-life adolescents meet their daily tribulations head on, as they conquer their fears, retirement woes, secrets revealed, and the most fundamental challenge of all: remaining in love forever.

ABOUTSusan Jean Riccci

I've been writing since I was a wee child and discovered crayons weren't part of a food   group. My sometimes controversial rants have appeared in my local newspaper, the Asbury Park Press, and I've won several awards via the Writer's Digest 78th Annual Writer's Contest and the Philadelphia Writer's Conference.

Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to publish in Parenting Teens Magazine, Good Dog Magazine, and Aim Intercultural Magazine. I'm currently concluding the sequel to Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, The Sugar Ticket. Then I will move on to revising a contemporary novel called, Slick Trespass

My current release, Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems, is a humorous, contemporary romance about achieving mid-life adolescence, in spite of the baggage incurred with one's history. My eBook, Heart Marks the Spot: Three Short Stories can also be found on Amazon for Kindle as well.

My husband, Joseph, and I live in a lovely town in New Jersey near the sea. Together we have seven children and nine grandchildren.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review of "Missing: Nordic Fairies #5" by Saga Berg

Missing (Nordic Fairies, #5)Missing by Saga Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Missing searches out the mystery by Trym, Svalla's guardian's disappearance. Meanwhile the dark fairies seem to be gaining the upper hand and the mysterious father of Svalla and Viggo's grandchild is revealed. More of Viggo's alliance with the dark fairy, Amanda is brought to light, though it doesn't make me want to smack her any less. And Emma, Freja's daughter, is revealed to have a few more layers other than vindictive evil spawn this go around. At the heart of it all is Viggo's insurmountable love for Svalla. No matter the obstacles, no matter the doubt in her heart concerning her eternal love, Svalla knows Viggo's love for her is true. Their relationship was what first drew me to their story and compels me to keep reading this fantastic novella series.

View all my reviews

Review of "The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor

The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1)The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cards which come to life as killer war machines, the epic battle between white and black imagination and a Hatter wielding wrist blades. Daring feats of Combine all these elements and you have touched the tip of the ice burg. The Looking Glass Wars was a very easy, quick paced lightning read filled with plenty of gimmicks to entertain, character development to satisfy and action to root for. What Wicked did for expanding the world OZ, TLGW broadens the Wonderland spectrum to fantastical edges not even Tim Burton's version attempted. Here is Alice's world turned up on its head with perhaps my favorite opening scene. Where the young Victorian Era Alice finds out that Lewis Carroll has turned her true, real life story into nothing better than a mushroom induced nursery rhyme. Alice couldn't be more hilariously angry and it is with this introduction the reader realizes just how grand the scope of the world Beddor has created intends. Without betraying plot points, trust that you will find a mad Heart Queen spouting plenty of "Off with their head's!" and a Cheshire Cat with some mad kung-fu skills. Of all the new characters Dodge Anders is delightful in his single-minded hellion purpose of revenge and it'll be curious to see if "Alyss" manages to crack his code later on.
With enough zanity to ensure you're reading about Wonderland and enough heart to trump the House of Hearts, The Looking Glass Wars is an imaginative new addition that might one day be considered a classic.

View all my reviews

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lessons from the Pro's

I love Rachelle Gardner, because not only is she a literary agent, but she takes the time to write insightful blog posts nearly every day. That's dedication in a nutshell, peeps! 

I thought I'd share a link of her latest post and encourage you to check out her other hints and tips on writing. Like many of you novices out there, I'm still learning the ropes. Hopefully I'll still be "learning the ropes" twenty years from now. The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop growing. So challenge yourselves today and take a stab at learning from professionals who have been around longer than you. And sometimes, be willing to listen to the fresh newbies out there who are taking risks and attempting new things. 

Happy early weekend! I'm already celebrating ;p

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, to my daddy, the best and most honorable man I have the privilege to know :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ashes Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!

ABOUT Ashes (Foresight #2) 

They will not give up…she’s about to find out why.
Scarlett barely escaped with her life the last time she ran in to The Venari; but she refuses to spend her days looking over her shoulder.
Determined to be normal, she heads to Europe, only to learn that her wish to blend in is simply not meant to be. With Jake delayed in Salem, Scarlett is vulnerable and forced to rely on new found friends, The Collective; a band of people with gifts like her own.
When her desire to bring an end to her torment leads her to the dark underbelly of Paris, she discovers what The Venari plan for her is not death, but in fact much worse.

(Completely blanked yesterday. Sorry about the belated post, peeps! But last and not least, here is my review of "Ashes," by Amy Keen.)

Ashes by Amy Keen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ashes, the exciting, spellbinding sequel to Embers, is a pulse-pounding, heart stopping thrill ride. While initially I was thrown off by the setting change, from Salem to France, I quickly saw the parallels between the new and old world. And the setting, much like the new characters and conflicts, broaden Scarlett’s world and our vision. We get to see more of the mysterious people, like Scarlett, who have been hunted for centuries for their inherent powers. Paris is explored above and below with horrifying pictures reminiscent of “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Enjoyable to me was seeing Scarlett and Jake’s relationship progress, strain and twist against the challenges they face at first apart, then together. Conversely, her “relationship” with Elias was intriguing, at times frustrating and eventually compelling. Once he got over his emo phase, at least. Like Scarlett, I’m very curious to peel apart his layers.
What I liked best in this book was seeing Scarlett come into her own. She grows so much as a character from the beginning of Embers and to this point, it’s almost hard to believe she’s the same girl. She doesn’t just sit around and let people handle the tough stuff for her, but takes after trouble with slightly martyr like tendencies. Another thing about the characters that I appreciate is that they talk, for the most part, like real people. They get frustrated and don’t finish their sentences sometimes, or their thoughts. And again, I enjoyed Scarlett’s perspective shifting from thought to words, much as we do in real life.
So many twists and turns in this high speed chase of a novel, my mind is still spinning with the final revelation. I would like to report that I expected that twist, but I was completely blindsided and expecting things to end on a tense, but lovey-dovey note. Thankfully, as Ms. Keen has already proven, Ashes dares to revel in its darkness, with the promise of more to tantalize.

View all my reviews

To sign up for a chance to win a copy of this stellar book, enter the raffle below!

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Review of City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sweeping, time sucking, life consuming epic saga. While that description may sound over the top and even slightly mocking, it doesn't even come close to City of Bones. I finally bucked down and bought the first of this series when I learned about the upcoming film adaptation. And ever since Lord of the Rings I've made a point to read the books before watching the movies. I'm so very glad I did so with City of Bones. It's the kind of story that makes you feel like you've fallen down the rabbit hole, or some kind of parallel universe where monsters, fairies and nightmares walk among us.
Clary is a perfectly average, normal teen with the usual mother issues and a secret thrill for the unknown and dangerous. Her best friend Simon isn't simply some wimpy sidekick, but a fully fleshed surprise. Can't even begin to describe his transformation. Both of them are thrown into the world of the supernatural when they meet Jace, Isabelle and Alec, three Shadowhunters.
Jace is simply delicious and complex. I love how Clary peels aside his layers bit by bit. And the build up till the end of the novel leaves your heart in twisted shatters, until you're a victim of classic teen angst.
I have to say that this book far surpasses any other YA epic that I've read so far. Because of Clare's willingness to boldly go where few YA authors have gone before, and offering us not just a rich tapestry of words but fully fleshed out characters. Buy, borrow or read this book as quickly as you can because I guarantee you won't be disappointed. For anyone who craves the "sight" I recommend this book. But beware, readers, once you've entered the rabbit hole, you might not be able to come up anytime soon.

View all my reviews

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What I'm Reading :)

Since this is a book blog, I thought y'all might find it interesting to hear what I've been reading lately. Prepare yourselves because these are all epic books!

First up, I started reading a series called the Looking Glass Wars! If you love Alice in Wonderland, then you'd love the "true" story behind the fairy tale. It's got to be one of the coolest adaptations I've read. It's like a hodgepodge of Steam Punk, Fantasy and Historical Fiction in one haphazardly but affectionately wrapped bow! Go check it out!

You'll never look at "Alyss" the same way again...

Next, I started reading Game of Thrones, finally after watching nearly three whole seasons of the excellent TV Show. My best friends forbade me to finish the third season until I can come out to visit again, so I placated myself by buying the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. And let me tell you, it more than lives up to all the hype. Having read Tolkien and Robert Jordan extensively, I have to say that this epic is the definitive of our generation. Now if he could only finish writing the series before they catch up to the last book!

Last but not least is Mortal Instruments! I bought this soon as I heard the movie was coming out. Because I hate seeing a movie without having read the book first. I was shocked to find out something that had its roots in fanfiction was this good! But, then again, I've read some fanfiction that's better than published work! Boo ya publishing houses ;) 

I'm almost finished with City of Bones, and have a feeling my pocketbook is gonna be lighter after I get desperate to read the sequel haha. So what are you reading?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Armored Hearts Tour: Guest Post & Review

Today we feature Armored Hearts, a new Steam Punk/Christian/Fantasy novel! Trust me when I tell you this is unlike anything you'll ever read, but it's so much fun you'll soon forget that you live in a world where automation doesn't exist. ;) 

About the Book
Synopsis via Goodreads:

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales.Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Publisher: Altwit Press

About the Authors

Pauline Creeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Melissa Turner LeeMelissa Turner Lee is a stay-at-home mom of three of the CRAZIEST boys ever. She's also the wife to a wonderful man she met when at 17, who is also the inspiration behind her awesome Painter series. Melissa has a degree in Journalism and Marketing, which she has never used. One day her husband sent her to the local book store for a day to herself. Melissa picked up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and her life changed. She remembered being 17, falling in love. But most of all she remembered herself. She'd become "Mommy" and forgotten all about Melissa, the girl who dreamed of being a writer, but suddenly she remembered and the writing started. And It hasn't stopped.
Guest Post by the Authors:

"The Life of A Writer"

Melissa Turner Lee: Every writer approaches it differently. I’ve always considered myself a SOTP (Seat-of-the-pants) writer and in many ways I am, but after speaking with Pauline about how she writes, she is fully SOTP and I’m a blend of SOTP and a plotter. I just don’t plot on paper. My stories generally come to me by way of a character that shows up in my head. I investigate who that character is and what is going on with an interview in my mind and I find out what is going on in their world.

I usually get ready to write by listening to music to get a feel for a scene or the emotions of the character. I might take long walks or baths and let the characters play out scenes in my mind. Once I know the beginning, the end and some major plot points along the way, I finally sit down at my computer and start writing. I have a hard time writing with no plan at all. But as I start writing, a lot of things I had not planned show up, that’s when I’m SOTP. The characters surprise me with things I didn’t know about them.

I try to write often but I’m not great at committing to writing every single day. My kids are still young and my husband’s work schedule rotates and the laundry piles up. So I’m bouncing back and forth from the real world and the fiction one I’m writing. But I can fold clothes and picture the scene and sit down and write it later, so in a way, if I’m alone and it’s quiet, I’m always working on writing.

Pauline Creeden: I sit down and type. Then type some more. And when I’m not typing, I read and read and read. I am a firm believer that writers must read. Lately, most of my reading has been in the judging, editing, or reviewing category – as I’m a judge for a few contests and an Amazon Top reviewer in edition to my editor’s hat. But when I put the writing hat on, I grab a Snapple, sit down at my desk and let the characters talk to me. Often I get my best ideas just as I’m waking up in the morning, or as I’m falling asleep at night. Those are the times when my muse speaks the loudest. And sometimes I can force out words even when I don’t feel like writing. Just a paragraph or two can make all the difference. I can fix it later when I’m editing. For me, the seat-of-the-pants thing gets me my first draft which is only a little more than an outline – it’s not fit for human consumption. It’s more about the editing than the writing. Most of my works have been edited 5 to 7 times before anyone else even reads them. So that’s where the work is for me!

Thank you so much Pauline and Melissa, for visiting with us. I always find it fascinating to look into the minds of other authors. I have to say, after reading your book, I'm very impressed with y'all's ability to craft such a detailed, action-packed, fantastical world.

Now that you've heard from these gifted ladies, check out some goodies they've been so gracious as to offer up!

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My Review

Armored HeartsArmored Hearts by Pauline Creeden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having never before been plunged into the popular sub-genre of steam punk, I wasn’t sure what to expect when beginning Armored Hearts. I won’t share with you the details of the story so much as my thoughts while reading it. Gareth is a surly, amusing and fascinating protagonist who takes himself perhaps a bit too seriously. And our heroine is his match and opposite in every way. British vs. American. Old fashioned vs. Forward thinking. Tabitha was a favorite character of mine, with her mind for “figures” and love of “automation.” This being the first steam punk I’ve been introduced to, I am unaware of some things that might make this novel set apart from the rest of its genre. But I can already attest that no other will dare to not only put forward Christian values and pair it alongside a dash of fantasy. The fantasy element doesn’t reveal itself fully until halfway through the novel. And once it shows it sits quite well beside the wonders of automation. I loved how these authors interwove their characters stories with the fantastical world they’ve created. So many books can lean too heavily in either direction so the other elements suffer, but not so with Armored Hearts.
Cleverly titled indeed, I loved the Victorian-isms, the mechanics that obviously went into fine tuning this timeless piece. Gareth is the sort of annoying sort you can’t help but to love in the end. And Jessamine and the other females of this novel give his archaic sensibilities a run for their money. The romance, while brief is fun and light hearted while still heartfelt.
I was left with anticipation for the sequel and the gears of my imagination freshly oiled and ready for the next grand adventure.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing Updates

Wow haven't had a new post in days. That feels funny, which is funny in turn because I used to only post once in a blue moon. Just goes to show that there are things to blog about, you just need to find time/inspiration. And when all else fails, book quotes, Tumblr goodies and giveaways are always out there for you to share.

Today I'm working on Vynasha stuff. I'm sure you've already heard me blab about it before. In fact, I'm almost positive you're ready to gag me just so I don't talk about it anymore ;p
But since it's important for writers to keep their readers and fellow authors in the know, I thought I'd share some of my latest journey.

I've got a hundred or so pages left to revise in part one and I'm trying to get through it while gathering up the gumption to get started on another project. Lately I haven't been burned out, just kind of tired. I'm almost convinced that tiredness can be your worst enemy. Solution? Work out, eat right and get an actual eight hours in a night. I don't always succeed in these three key things, but when I do, it's much easier to stay refreshed.

My trouble comes from the writer's plague, insomnia! I'm sure that while many of you authors are capable of writing during the day, I haven't found the key that makes me dance that same tune. Instead I have been doomed for long as I can remember to write at night. It just works for me. Which is fine when I'm not due to either of my other two jobs (yes, two ;)

So that, short and sweet is my story. I realize that I should probably tell you more about Vynasha, but I'll save that for next time.
Oh! And beware, fellow authors, when looking for stock images for cover art. If you don't buy the extended license it will come back to bite you in gruesome, zombie-esque ways.

What makes y'all tick? Are you a daywalker or a nightwalker ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quote of the Week :)

maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.
— John Green

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bound by Prophecy & Author, Melissa Wright: Playlist & Dream Cast


First off, I have to thank Melissa Wright for appearing on my blog, today. This author is one of my heroes and has helped me understand the writing world since I came on the scene. She's one to watch, peeps. Here's a little about her latest novel, and reason for visiting today:

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Twenty-two-year-old Aern is done watching his brother destroy the only thing that matters. He never wanted to take Morgan's place among council, never wanted to rule their hidden world. But when the key to the prophecy is found, a young girl named Brianna whom Morgan will destroy, Aern knows he has to take action. What he really wants is for things to go back to normal. But now he’s kidnapped a girl, and his brother's men are after him. His only hope is to join with the Division, but they have plans of their own, and it's the last thing Aern is willing to do. Emily just wants her sister back. She doesn't care about the prophecy, or know what's at stake. But when she goes after Aern, the truth of the matter uncoils, and Brianna isn't the only one who's in danger. Suddenly, they’re at the center of a secret war, and unless they can work together, they'll both have a sacrifice too big to make.

Released: April 19th 2013

About the Author
Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga and the upcoming Descendants series. Melissa spends her time working on novels, but when not writing she can be found on goodreads and pinterest.

*The book will be provided in epub, pdf & mobi. 

There will be a GIVEAWAY of a finished PAPERBACK copy, along with 2 ecopiesfor international readers. 

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Playlist & Dream Cast

I asked Melissa about the music that inspired her while writing Bound by Prophecy and she was kind enough to share this playlist with us. The songs totally fit the mood of this awesome book! 
Here's a sampling :)

Ho Hey-The Lumineers
No Light, No Light-Florence + the Machine
Breath of Life-Florence + the Machine
Crystal Vases-The Last Royals
Virgin-Manchester Orchestra
Carry On-fun.
Tongue Tied-Grouplove
I Will Wait-Mumford & Sons

Melissa & Jenn(the blogger's) 
Dream Cast ;)

Zac Effron as Aern Archer

Emma Stone as Emily & Brianna Drake
(Yay for twin parts! ;)

Ian Somerhalder as Morgan Archer
Jensen Ackles as Logan Black

Lee Pace as Brendan Samuels

Eddie Redmayne as Wesley

So what did y'all think? Come know you're dying to read this book and see it come to life, right? I mean, anything that has the older, hotter Zac Effron in it, lol.  
I'll let y'all be the final judge, or the studio that one day picks this book up in an author's dream world...sighs. Meantime, go ahead and sign up to win a copy of this awesome book! Or even better, leave a comment below. Do you agree or did you picture someone else for these characters? 

And if you were wanting to know more about my thoughts on the book, you can find it HERE: