Archives for August 2012

Blog Tour: Quest, Inc. by Justin Cohen

Quest, Inc.
written by Justin Cohen         
published by Telemachus Press

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Tribute Books. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)


Did I enjoy this book: This book was good. Quest, Inc. was a quick read that had some entertaining parts in it. It was not a book that I had to read every free chance I had though. 

The five main characters – the mentors of Quest – each had their own issues to work through as they helped their clients. Robert, the body builder health nut, had fallen off the wagon and reverted back to his “fat” stage. He got back on the wagon after he hit rock bottom with the help of his friends. He recognized the choices he had to make and the impulses that everyone faces. Carter, the psychologist, has issues of her own to deal with but she was the driving force behind the formation of Quest and keeping everyone together to help others. Mickey, the property mogul, was the character that I liked the least. He was very arrogant and hard to trust and like. Jay, the inspirational guru so-to-speak, seemed to be the one person in this group that got it the most – you can’t make other people be what you want them to be, you have to help them be a better version of themselves. And Alexia, the beauty expert, who seemed to be the most superficial but she has a lot going on with herself and her goddaughter.

Watching each of their journeys was interesting and kept me reading. Also watching them help others (though sometimes it wasn’t apparent if the help was working) was also fascinating to read. Quest, Inc. read like a self-help book in some respects, but not in a bad way. 

The one thing that I did not enjoy so much was the scene jumping. It may have been the digital version that I received, but there did not seem to be many clear transitions. For example, at one point Robert was giving Victoria a tour of the Quest facility and the next paragraph he was in front of the refrigerator contemplating what to eat. These transitions made it difficult to really follow along smoothly. But, as I said, it may have been the review copy that I was given. 

Would I recommend it: Maybe. It would depend on the reader. 


Will I read it again: I will not. I would be interested in reading the next book in this series, though, because Quest, Inc. ended with a cliffhanger. 


About the book – from the publisher: 
The World’s #1 Personal Development Agency . . . has to prove it. 

What if you brought together five top personal development experts—equipped with virtually everything we know about unleashing human potential—and gave them some lives to change? Could they really coach anyone to lose fifty pounds, fix a broken relationship, or get rich? What would they do for a homeless person, or a pro-golfer trailing at the back of her league? How about taking the racism out of a racist, or turning a hellish employee into a ray of sunshine? 

Welcome to Quest, Inc. They say they can change your life. Now, as they’re followed by an investigative journalist from one of the world’s leading news publications, they have to prove it—or be damned as charlatans.

Based on real life peak performance and transformational strategies, you’ll see the highs and lows everyone faces on the road to self-realization—especially the experts. Get ready for breakthrough . . . or breakdown.

To read an excerpt from Quest, Inc., please go here!


About the author: Justin Cohen is the author of four books and seven audiobooks. He produced and hosted a television talk show in which he interviewed some of the world’s top experts on success. As a leading authority on personal development, with an honors degree in Psychology, Justin speaks, trains and writes in the fields of motivation, sales, service and leadership. Having spoken professionally for nearly fourteen years, Justin has presented in twelve different countries, and in virtually every industry, to an average of ten thousand people annually.

Find Mr. Cohen here: blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads



Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour: Ciao (Stories About Melissa #3) by Bethany Lopez

Ciao_Cover_1Ciao (Stories About Melissa #3)
written by Bethany Lopez
published by Bethany Lopez
release date August 15, 2012

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was fortunate enough to participate in the blog tour through YA Bound for the upcoming release of this third installment in the Stories About Melissa series by Bethany Lopez. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book but I will warn you, it is heavier and more sad than the first two books. It was another quick read that had me glued to my Kindle until I finished the last page. In fact, it only took me a few hours to finish this book. (Which, while staying at home with two kids, is a feat and says something about this book!)

This book continued with the journal format and Melissa is growing up even more…perhaps faster than she should have to as well. I don’t want to spoil anything in this book, so I won’t give any details. I will say that I loved how 15 year old Melissa handled everything that happens in this part of her young life.

The emotions and situations were very real and very believable. The ending left me hanging and anxious for the next installment in the Stories About Melissa!!

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Would I recommend it: If you have read the first two books in this series – Ta Ta For Now! and XOXOXO – how could you not read this next book!?!?!

Will I read it again: I will not.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months?

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About the Author: Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now! and XOXOXO are available now. Book three, Ciao, will be released in Aug 2012.

Find her here: Twitter, Facebook, web, Pinterest, IAN

 

And now it is time for the awesome GIVEAWAY!!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win signed paperback copies of all three books: Ta Ta for Now!XOXOXO, and Ciao, along with a Bookmark and Magnet and a Book Nerd necklace!  Open US Only.

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

GIVEAWAY!! Spotlight and Author Interview: Audrey’s Guide To Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft
written by Jody Gehrman          
published by Jody Gehrman, via Smashwords

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.


And now I would like to welcome Jody Gehrman, author of Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft, to Every Free Chance Book Reviews today!!! She has answered some questions for us and has agreed to an awesome GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!!!
Why did you become a writer? My first “novel” was really a very long letter sent to my best friend about us riding around on our flying dogs. I was eight. We’d moved to Canada for the year and I missed our imaginary games, so I wrote about them instead. I guess writing for me has always been about delving into imaginary worlds. I still tend to think of each of my novels as long love letters—to a place, a time in my life, a person, a feeling. 

In college I discovered playwriting, and after college I freelanced as a journalist. Both of these experiences confirmed my commitment to writing, in part because they helped with the inherent loneliness that can become an occupational hazard. As a playwright I love working with actors and directors; as a journalist I love doing interviews. These more social aspects of writing balance out the isolation of writing novels.



What do you like most about teaching English at Mendocino College? My students! They’re amazing. In particular I love working with Creative Writing and Playwriting students. It’s so fun watching those communities form. When people who love books and imaginary worlds start to connect, something magical happens. Getting to be the person who brings those electric minds together is really an honor and a pleasure, even if sometimes sparks fly and things get a little crazy!

Who has been your biggest inspiration for writing? My family has always been very supportive. They read my early drafts and keep me going when things look grim. That’s one sort of inspiration. I also had many wonderful writing teachers over the years: Gina Nahai, T.C. Boyle, David Scott Milton, and Robin Hemley, to name a few.

What do you find to be the most challenging part when writing a Young Adult v. an adult novel? Getting the voice right in YA can be challenging. When you’re 40 trying to write a teen character, it’s natural to second guess oneself at every turn. That’s why I’m always looking for beta readers to keep me honest, keep me current and nudge me when I hit a sour note.

Which character in Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft was your favorite to write about? Which was your least favorite? Sadie was my favorite, I think. I love her sense of style and her disorientation in the “mundane” world. I also really loved Megan from the very beginning. She’s a natural rock star, which has always been a fantasy of mine. Audrey gave me some trouble, but once I found her voice, I was off and running. Still, it took me quite a few years searching for the right protagonist to tell this story.

Without spoiling your book, what was your favorite scene to write in Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft? Why? It’s a toss-up between the magical chocolate cake scene (because it’s sensual and delicious) and the bat-face-in-the-redwoods scene (because it’s dangerous and menacing). Oh, and I did love writing about the Witch’s Wardrobe, because how cool would that be to have the answer to every clothes dilemma in one tiny hatbox?

How long did it take you to write Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft? What was your writing process like? This sounds crazy, but it took me about seven years off and on. I started writing it as a book for adults, but I never felt like it was quite working. Then I realized it would work well as a YA novel, so I pulled out the old draft and gave it a radical makeover, including a new plot and protagonist.

If you had to describe your novel with only 6 words, what would you say? A teen witch hones her power.

Who is/are your favorite author(s)? So many writers have influenced and inspired me through their work at different times in my life. Some of my favorites in the realm of “classics” include Nabokov, both of the Brontes (but especially Charlotte) and Jane Austen. Southern writers like Ellen Gilchrist and Beth Henley made a big impression on me as a young writer. When I found Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary, Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series I became fascinated with British comic geniuses. I read a lot of YA these days and some of my favorite YA writers are Beth Fantaskey, Nina LaCour, Louise Rennison, Maggie Stiefvater and Stacey Jay.

What are you currently reading right now? I stayed up way too late last night reading Katie Crouch’s The Magnolia League. It’s a wonderful novel! It’s bringing together two worlds I’m fascinated with: the northern California commune (the character comes from where I live, Mendocino County) and mysterious, swampy Savannah, a place I’ve never been but find totally intriguing. It’s like this book is speaking directly to me; I love it when that happens. Plus Crouch is so in control of every sentence.

What book are you looking forward to reading the most this year? I adore Jonathan Tropper and can’t wait to read his newest, One Last Thing Before I Go. It’s already out, but I’m kind of waiting for the audio version so my husband and I can listen to it together. Usually Scott Brick reads Tropper’s books, and he’s an amazing actor. When my husband and I are both really into a writer it’s fun doing the audio book thing because we get to stop and talk about it whenever we feel like it.

In your opinion, what is one book everyone should read? I guess this is odd for an English teacher, but I’m not sure there is such a book. We all have our idiosyncratic needs as readers, and I don’t know of one book that can meet all those needs. That said, To Kill a Mockingbirdtouches on a lot of universal themes, and every sentence sings. Also, it’s hard not to love The Cat in the Hat.


About the author: Jody Gehrman is the author of seven novels and numerous plays. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin’s Dial Books). Babe in Boyland won the International Reading Association Teen Choice Award and has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College.

Find Ms. Gehrman here: blog, web, Facebook, Twitter

And now it’s time for the GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Spotlight with Author Interview: Masks of the Lost Kings by Tom Bane


Masks of the Lost Kings
written by Tom Bane          
published by Telemachus Press, LLC

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Following the sudden disappearance of treasure hunter Ben Sanders in Mexico, beautiful archaeologist Suzy da Silva is snatched from the cloistered environs of Oxford University and thrust into a deadly maelstrom of intrigue and discovery. Joining forces with astrophysicist Tom Brooking she crosses four continents, to unlock the dark secrets of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Holy Sepulchre and the mysterious Mayan Temple of Inscriptions to reveal a mysterious truth. Together they risk their lives, pursued by martial assassins and renegade special forces, fighting the forces of evil to discover hidden knowledge so precious that it has lain dormant for over a thousand years…


I am pleased to welcome Mr. Tom Bane to Every Free Chance Book Reviews today!! He has answered a few questions about his book for all of you. 

Tell us a little about yourself. I am Tom Bane, author of “Masks of the Lost Kings”, I live in England and I love writing, I actually trained to be a scientist, studying Physical Chemistry at University, however I have felt a stronger to creative pursuits as I got older, I first started writing a long time ago and I got some commissions to ghost write novels for other writers. In 2008 I decided I wanted to write my own novel, and so was born the “Masks of the Lost Kings”. I also do oil painting, but I expect it will take me several years to improve, painting is the sort of skill that takes ages to develop.
How did you come up with the initial idea for Masks of the Lost Kings? Honestly, I have been doing the research all my life, I have always been fascinated by ancient tombs and civilisations and from a very young age I had been fascinated by the cosmos and the vast distances involved and the awe inspiring beauty of  the night sky with it’s hidden galaxies and the milky way. I have always been a keen fan of martial arts, I do Brazilian jiu jitsu, karate and escrima, so like most writers I put some of my own interests into the book, I just have to hope readers get some enjoyment from the fusion of ideas I have created.
Why did you choose a female lead character? I could not have it any other way to be honest, I had always envisioned a female heroine in Suzy da Silva. In the novel, breaking the code of Tutankhamun’s mask and the mystery of the Mayan civilisation requires a lot of intuitive thinking and so Suzy da Silva is incredibly adept at that. Having a female lead also allowed me to explore some of the vulnerabilities of Suzy which would not be as easy with a male hero, and all the machismo and bravura that comes with that traditional role. In real life characters are multi-faceted and have different contrasts to their complex personalities, I wanted to paint a picture of someone who was real in Suzy da Silva, rather than a Hollywood pastiche of a women explorer. I also think readers these days are much more flexible in their thinking and you can break stereotypes so long as it is convincing.
What inspires you? What are your favorite books? Well, that is a big question, I guess other people inspire me the most, anybody that goes beyond the bounds of normal human experience or  reason is what grabs me. In terms of great thinkers I like Einstein and many of the great European physicists like Schrodinger or 
In terms of great books and writers, I admire bravery and the talent to take big risks with literature, so I think Ulysees by James Joyce embodies those principles. However I also love the skill of some populist writers like JK Rowling or Tolkien to create an idealistic world and lead the reader into a voyage of discovery, I don’t think you should have to be Voltaire or Sophocles to have one of your books designated as one of the classics. As a child I also loved the great science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke.
What is your favorite line from The Masks of the Lost Kings and why? Well there are a lot of good lines in the book, but I would be bound to say that! I think there are a couple of possible candidates for the best line. The opening sentence I am quite fond of:
“They emerged from the black, dripping jungle night already bruised and drenched from the hot rain of the Tumbala Mountains.”
I think there are some fine action sequences in the novel, and I have had a lot of readers comment that they loved the fast pace and the ending.

Find Tom Bane here: web, Twitter, Facebook

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Book Blast: Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure by Suzanne Anderson

Every Free Chance Book Reviews is please to participate in the Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure Book Blast – $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway open August 14th to 21st!!! 
Hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.


Meet Author Suzanne Anderson

I was born in Fort Lauderdale, attended the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship for swimming and then worked on Wall Street. I left the bright lights of the big city fifteen years ago and traveled the world. I now live in the mountains of Colorado, where I pursue my dream of writing novels.


Find Ms. Anderson here: Web, Facebook, Twitter


About the Book: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…

Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm’s way for most of the war. Now as the Führer’s desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie’s younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie’s twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.

Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna’s paranoid explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?

An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.

… faith is the evidence of things not seen.




Find the book here: Barnes & Noble, AmazonGoodreads


And now it is time for the awesome Giveaway!!! Enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Code. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends 8/21/12.






Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent’s permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour: Ripple the Twine by Jenn Flynn-Shon with an Interview and Excerpt


Ripple the Twine
written by Jenn Flynn-Shon         
published by Writesy Press

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour for this book organized by CLP Blog Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)


Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had and finished it in about 2 days. I did not want to put it down. It was a quick read that held my attention and wouldn’t let go.

I liked that the four friends – Robyn, Perth, Sara, and Edward – were a family. They all cared about each other and were there for each other. As with all families, they tried to keep things from one another but the truth always comes out…and for the better. I felt for each of them and hoped for the best for all of them. The main character, Sara, was fantastic. I love a sports-loving, independent lead female who is searching for “the one.” I wanted her to find more happiness than what she had. And Ben was fantastic. I would love to hear his accent in person. I can imagine swooning  over it. 

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to any chick-lit lover.

Will I read it again: Probably not. 

About the book – from Goodreads: Sara Quinn is a Sportswriter from Boston and over the past year she has started to earn major respect in the local market. In the process, however, she abandoned her personal relationships and put her emotions in the box. Regardless of her self-imposed timeout, a friend introduces her to Ben. With blue eyes, black hair and a brogue, he’s her ultimate triple threat. But they connect just as Sara learns that her friends are facing heavy emotional crises. She starts offering advice, becoming a rock for everyone else, and in the process Sara unearths her own long dormant insecurities. But a bag of peanut butter cups and a hockey game won’t fix her issues. She’s got to move past her emotional past without hiding behind her career for once. She needs her friend’s support as much as they need hers and the four will quickly discover that, when they stick together, their offense is virtually unstoppable.

And now I would like to welcome the author, Jenn Flynn-Shon, who graciously answered a few questions from me for all of you!

Why did you become a writer? Pure visceral need.  I’ve lived lots of working lives – everything from Executive Assistant to Owner of my own Decorative Painting company – but nothing ever gave me as much personal satisfaction as when I was writing.  Once I started getting into the fundamentals of the business side of things in addition to the creative side I realized how hooked I truly was.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing as a career? I can’t even fathom an answer to this question.  Everything I did for work before was nothing more than a job; a place to do research for my career as a Writer.  I’ve never felt strong enough about anything to make it a career before this and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Which character was your favorite to write about? Which was your least favorite? 
The character I approached with reckless abandon was Perth.  She was the Yin to Sara’s Yang and always seemed to show up just as things were getting heavy.  I loved her lightness and sassy frivolity but her dedication to her friends was her most endearing quality.  I tend to analyze what I’m going to say and don’t always shoot from the hip like she does so getting to write her was fun.
For a few rounds of edits I was disenchanted with writing Sara to be honest.  Because I had to get to know her so intimately it became like a chore at times trying to get out what she was saying.  By the end of my final edit though I had fallen back in love with her and couldn’t wait to share her successes and failures.  She was more layered and real.

Which character in Ripple the Twine do you relate to the most? Why? Probably Sara, though I’m married and she’s a single gal.  Her analytical and organized approach to her career is something I’m in touch with.  She’s also an observer, though when entrenched in her own chaos it’s tough for her to see everything going on around her and it throws her off balance.  I can be like that at times.  Plus I remember how tough it was to open up and trust anyone again after my first really bad break up.  The first time I felt like I could do that again was after I fixed my own stuff, and Sara has a lot to fix.  And of course there’s the fact that we’re both Boston Bruins fans!
What was your favorite scene to write in Ripple the Twine? Why? Sara’s first date with Ben.  The whole thing, though it is spread out over multiple chapters, was so much fun to write.  They both go through some emotional ups and downs during the date and connect pretty quickly through conversations.  It forced me to dig into different wells so Sara could downshift her feelings as quickly as if the events happened in real time. 
How long did it take you to write Ripple the Twine? What was your writing process like? The character of Sara Quinn actually started developing back in 1999.  I had written about twenty-five pages of what I hoped would be a novel.  At the time I couldn’t get it to work so I filed it away.  Years later I heard about NaNoWriMo and thought it would be worth giving it a try so I pulled out my old character of Sara.  That was in 2009.  Everything, with the exception of her first name, what she does for a living (Sportswriter) and the setting, changed.  NaNo was a great fit for an analyzer like me – it forced me to forget about editing and finally just get a full novel down on the page.  I put it away for about a year after typing that first draft (exhausted!).  It took me another year after that to edit, send it out for feedback, make more edits, and then make a few more edits.
Then I was satisfied with the story.  If I’d kept going on it I don’t think it would have ever left my computer!  I never dreamed how much work it would be to write a novel and how many steps are involved in self-publishing but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Can you explain the significance of the title and cover of Ripple the Twine? And the definition of the hockey terminology at the beginning of each chapter? I’m a big sports fan.  Or, to clarify, I’m a big fan of most of the professional sports teams in Boston/New England.  Sara, a Sportswriter and a Boston girl (like me) is also a Bruins hockey fan.  But Tomboys are sometimes girlie on the inside.  And Sara wasn’t exempt.  Hence the puck and flirty shoes together.
The more I dug around and studied, the more I found that Sara’s life was lining up with terms used in hockey.  Howitzer, for example, is a fast slap shot.  Getting hit with one will sting regardless of how much padding you’re wearing.  In that chapter (Ten) Sara learns that life is fluid, that things and people change, and it comes as a huge blow.  One she doesn’t expect or see coming.  An emotional whammy, and she has no armor to protect herself from its sting.
As a sucker for a happy ending there was no chance Sara wouldn’t “win the game” in her own way.  The title, Ripple the Twine, means to score a goal.  I wanted Sara to score the proverbial goal in the end by bringing her career and life together into one manageable package where she’s happy and successful in life and love.
In one sentence, tell us why we should read your book. It’s a fun story about a quirky group of friends looking to find themselves while figuring out how to rely on each other which makes for a great relaxing-on-the-weekend summer read.
What is your favorite book? This year?  Ha, ha!  I recently finished reading a friend’s book, Magic Bridge by Thomasina Burke, and really loved the depth she brought to her main character, Bridgete.  The book centers on life, love, loss and the willingness to do it all over again even if the only person you fall in love with in the end is yourself.  It is a beautiful contemporary Women’s Fiction story and set to be a trilogy.
Of all time my go-to book is Different Seasons by Stephen King.  I read that book for the first time when I was twelve and still have my first copy.  Even though it’s a falling apart paperback and the pages are yellow it was the first of King’s books I’d read. But it certainly wasn’t the last!
Who is/are your favorite author(s)? Already mentioned King, plus I always love a punchy female voice like Jen Lancaster, Marisa de los Santos or Marian Keyes.  Lately though I’ve been drawn toward more Indie Authors like Burke, and also Susan Pohlman, and have found myself exploring the vast world of memoir.
What are you currently reading right now? I’m reading two books right now.  The first is a memoir titled Return to Viet Nam: One Veteran’s Journey of Healing by Linda G. Myers and its fascinating.  I’m not one for war books and this one isn’t.  The story centers on (co-Author) Art’s returning to the country where he fought, as a way to bring peace and clarity to himself after years of struggling with PTSD.  It is truly inspirational.
The second is Moon Shell Beach by Nancy Thayer.  I just started this one but it seems promising.  And timely.  After moving across the country and leaving my childhood best friend (of twenty-seven years) behind last year, the reuniting best friend angle has me hooked.
I see in your bio that you love to travel. What is your favorite place that you have visited? Where do you want to travel to the most? Picking only one place would be impossible!  Mid-west coast of Ireland, Amsterdam, San Diego, Toronto, The Bahamas, Disney World, upstate New York…  One of my favorite trips was about twelve years ago when my husband and I first started dating.  He was living in Ohio at the time and I was in Boston.  He bought a car in Boston so I joined him for the drive back across the country then flew home by myself.  We drove for seventeen straight hours, made some of the best memories, and had great conversation the entire time.
As for somewhere I want to visit, I can’t get Tahiti out of my head.  I want to wake up in one of those huts out over the ocean listening to the lapping waves, watching as the calm breeze blows sheer white curtains around, eating fresh caught fish and fresh picked mangoes flavored by just a hint of salt from the humid ocean air. Mmm, heaven!

About the author: Jenn Flynn-Shon is an Author, born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area but currently living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. She quite happily lives, child-free, with her husband in the Valley of the Sun. She is an avid recycler, upcycler, and refuser of superfluous things. Love of sports is a cultural experience, an almost mandated way of life for most Bostonians, and Jenn is no exception to that rule. Jenn loves to travel, read, spend time with family and friends, and blog. “Ripple the Twine” is her first fiction novel. 

Find Ms. Flynn-Shon here: Facebook, Twitter, blog, Writesy, Goodreads


Please enjoy the following excerpt:
 Chapter 7 of Ripple the Twine!

Quick Whistle: The official will whistle the play “dead” with the puck still visible. This often draws an unfavorable reaction from hometown crowds especially when the whistle negates a perceived scoring chance for the home team.
“I have no idea what the hell I’m doing going to this silly dinner tonight.  Please talk me out of this.”  Sara said.  She stood in front of her full length mirror and fiddled with the neck of her shirt.
“Are you freaking kidding me?  Look babe, you so need a date.  Really, all you do is sit in your house and write or come to The Rose.  You have got to get out and meet someone.” 
Once it started to sink in that her mother was setting her up on a blind date, Sara’s one time nerves of steel faded into rusted flecks of iron on the breeze.  Sara had decided Perth would be the one to give her an excuse for how to get out of the fix up.  Sara had informed Perth that Paul was a lawyer, homeowner, allegedly gorgeous, apparently never married and that he had no children.  Suddenly, her best friend was a highly uncooperative participant in Sara’s plan.
“Thanks… friend. Or should I just call you Mother?”
“I don’t care if it’s a set up by your mother, this guy sounds unreal.  You can try that pity crap but the only one feeling bad is you.  I know the way you critique yourself but you look amazing and regardless, you deserve a fling at least.”
“Perth, you know I’m wicked conservative.  I can’t just jump into bed with someone I just met.  I mean, my mother never even mentioned his last name.  How can I possibly have a fling with someone when I don’t even know his last name?”
“Because sweetie, that’s just it.  I am talking about a fling, last names are for guys you plan to marry, and then it’s only for the invitations.”
“Please don’t be flip, I’m not kidding.”
“Yeah well neither am I.  Go and meet him, have a couple glasses of wine, flirt the way you do at The Rose and then bring the boy home.  I’m not talking a lifelong commitment here.  I beg you, just get some before you go loopy and take the rest of us down with you.”
“I’ll think about it.” 
Sara wasn’t surprised that her friend could have so easily changed her mind in such short order; it had been far too long since she had some good naked fun with anyone.  And she was stressed about work.
“Truth?  Don’t listen to your mother.  Listen to the person who really knows you.  Me.  Have fun and, you know, show him that move you do with your hips every Thursday on the dance floor.”  
Sara fumbled with her mascara wand as she sharply inhaled then laughed into the receiver.  She had never been as comfortable talking about sex as Perth; even after all those years Sara still got embarrassed by her friend’s many comments.
“Hey watch it, you almost made me ruin my outfit.”
“Details.”
“OK, um, my boot cut Levis.”
“The ones that show off your butt or the black ones?”
“The butt ones.”
“Yup, nice.”
“Brown boots.”
“Which ones?”
“Those ones with the back zipper, I think I got them with Robyn but they’re really cute and have a little leather flower on the outer ankle.”  Sara paused and watched as her face in the mirror flashed back a look of contemplation.  “But I highly doubt he’ll be looking at them all that closely so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.  Oh, and my garnet top.”
“That low dipping, sleeveless, cowl neck one you got when we went out last month?”
“Yeah?” 
Sara was instantly pensive with her response.  The tone in Perth’s voice suddenly made Sara question if her friend thought the outfit made her look too desperate.
“Yeah, that’s hot.  It’ll look even better on your floor tomorrow morning after you wake up to find he snuck out before the sun came up.”
“Perth!  Come on, I don’t want to look slutty, just…good.”  Sara heard Perth laugh.  “Great.  I need to change.”
“Okay, I’m sorry.  Don’t change, it looks fantastic on you and think of how easy it will be for him to take it off.”  Her friend giggled and Sara rolled her eyes, Perth was pathological. She should have been used to her best friend’s frankness but Sara still turned tomato red.
“Ugh.  Alright, I’m running late and you know my mother will be all frantic.  I don’t know if this guy can even carry on a conversation.  Guess we’ll see.”
“Sweetie the only thing he has to know how to say is ‘how can I please you?’”

Now is your chance to enter the GIVEAWAY for a paperback copy of Ripple the Twine by Jenn Flynn-Shon!!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Review: Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie (guest post)

Breaking the Rules Cover for BowkerBreaking the Rules
written by Cat Lavoie
published by Marching Ink LLC

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publisher, Marching Ink LLC, to review Cat Lavoie’s new book and I happily accepted the opportunity! (I was provided a copy for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It was a quick read and I didn’t want to put my Kindle down. I read every free chance I had and finished the book in a day. It was a typical chick lit read that was fun.

Some parts of Breaking the Rules kind of reminded me of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella and Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

The characters were likable. I loved Roxy. She seemed like your average girl…not the super skinny, flawless beauty that so many heroines are depicted as. She loved to cook and eat! Her fiance, Ethan, on the other hand, seemed rather controlling and borderline abusive. I did not like him at all. Ollie was a great best friend for Roxy. They were perfect together. Lucas, the celebrity chef, was a nice extra character as was Greta, Roxy’s bitchy boss. Roxy’s sisters, Steffi and Izzie, were a trip. The three girls together made a great family…very different from one another but loved each other completely.

The story was kind of twisted in the end but it fits the story and the characters in a good way.

everyfree4

Would I recommend it: If you like chick lit, then, yes, I would recommend this book to you!

Will I read it again: I probably will not.

chrissysig
About the book – from the publisher: When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss.

While Ollie escapes to jolly ole England to live out his dream and save the planet with green architecture, Roxy is stuck in New York City working for a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener. She can’t bear to think about her own big-city dream of being a chef anymore. Over the years, her passion for food has only resulted in extra pounds and a staggering credit card balance for fancy kitchen equipment that she barely has time to use. Still, Roxy’s sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that it’s not worth mentioning to her fiancé, not that he would even listen—all they do these days is argue about their upcoming wedding.

Roxy is faced with an unexpected family reunion when her younger sister Steffi arrives on her doorstep, six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss. When older sister Izzie—in the throes of a premature midlife crisis—joins them, she’s determined to crack the case of Steffi’s impending motherhood. With the Rule sisters living under the same roof again, Roxy’s quiet little apartment in the city is about to be anything but peaceful.

Roxy soon discovers that her seemingly idyllic relationship with Ollie started getting complicated way before he left for London. She must come to terms with her feelings for him, learn to stand up for herself and go after what she really wants.

Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Cat Lavoie, author of Breaking the Rules, to the blog today. She has prepared the following guest post for all of you.

Chick Lit: It’s Not All About the Shoes
 By: Cat Lavoie
“So you’re writing a book about girls who love shoes and stuff?” the inquisitive person in front of me (name withheld to protect the misguided) asked with a smirk when I mentioned that I was writing a chick lit novel. “And the cover is going to be pink, right?”

 

Well, he was right about the cover but totally wrong about the shoes. Even though my debut novel, BREAKING THE RULES, does mention designer heels at one point, it is definitely not about shoes. And he’s lucky I resisted the urge to slip one of mine off and throw it across the table at him.

 

Unfortunately, I’ve had variations of this conversation several times over the years. It’s difficult to describe my novel to somebody who’s never heard of chick lit—or who has, but thinks it’s all about shopping, sipping fancy cocktails with your girlfriends and, yes, shoes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—I’ve read many novels with that exact subject matter and they’ve been thoroughly enjoyable. But chick lit is so much more than that. Behind the glitzy wardrobe and shopping sprees, there are real issues.

 

A chick lit novel is never going to be about shoes even if there’s a shoe on the cover and the word ‘shoe’ in the title—it’s going to be about the reasons that motivate a character to spend half her paycheck on stilettos. Maybe she’s miserable in her relationship and weekly shopping trips are her escape. Maybe splurging on something she can’t afford fills a void in her life. Maybe she’s desperately in love with the guy who works at the shoe store and she’s trying to muster up enough courage to speak to him longer than the time it takes to ask for a size seven and a half.

 

Every chick lit novel is different, just like every science fiction or romance novel is different. The basic elements are there but the stories can go in every direction. Chick lit can be dark and deal with issues like body image, self-esteem and abusive relationships. Chick lit can make you laugh and it can make you cry—and, often, it can make you do both.

 

To me, chick lit is about women who are on a journey of self-discovery. Maybe they feel trapped by an unfulfilling relationship or a stalling career—or both, like Roxy, the main character in BREAKING THE RULES.

 

I’m very proud to be a chick lit writer because I love these stories and—with the release of BREAKING THE RULES—I get to share a story that is very close to my heart.

 

Cat LavoieAbout the author: Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

 

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

 

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

 

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

 

Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles.

 

Find Ms. Lavoie here: web, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

XOXOXO (Stories About Melissa #2) by Bethany Lopez

XOXOXOXOXOXO (Stories About Melissa #2)
written by Bethany Lopez
published by Bethany Lopez

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Smashwords, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I am participating in the blog tour for the third book in the Stories About Melissa series, Ciao. I wanted to read the first two books in the series before I read the third. (I was provided with a copy of this book for prep purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: This was another quick, easy, entertaining story that picks up about six months after Ta Ta For Now! left off. I enjoyed this book the same as the first.

The journal format continues, with Melissa signing off in this journal “xoxoxo.” Melissa’s mom has her baby, and this event changes the family in a big way. Melissa and Jess are still best friends…this makes me very happy! I still don’t like Brian at all. And Jimmy…oh, Jimmy…so patient, so there, I so want he and Melissa together. But I would also like to see Melissa and Ben together…but I’m not sure this will happen.

One scene that I enjoyed a lot with me was while Melissa and her family were at the lake. I have to agree with Melissa – the best way to eat a marshmallow cooked over a fire is  burnt on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside! YUM!!

everyfree3Would I recommend it: If you read this first book, Ta Ta For Now!, and you plan on reading the third book, Ciao, then you definitely have to read this book!

Will I read it again: I will not.
chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: Melissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn’t over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, and Jimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can’t help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Blog Tour: The Way by Kristen Wolf – Excerpt and Guest Post


The Way
written by Kristen Wolf          
published by Crown Publishing Group

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazonGoodreads


About the book – from Goodreads: Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father—disguising her as a boy—sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her. 

When danger befalls the caves in which the sisters have made their home, Anna embarks on a hazardous mission to preserve the wisdom of her mentors by proclaiming it among ordinary people. Her daring quest and newfound destiny reveal, at last, the full truth of her identity—a shocking revelation that will spark as much controversy as it does celebration.  


I would like to welcome Kristen Wolf to Every Free Chance Book Reviews today as she tours the blogosphere with CLP Blog Tours! She has written the following guest post for all of you to enjoy. 

About the Author: Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.
As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.

Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.

Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.

Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.
As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as filmmaker and writer.

The Way is her first novel.

Find Kristen here: web, Facebook

How THE WAY Came to Be
by Kristen Wolf

I wrote THE WAY because I had no choice. Its roots are deep and stretch all the way back to my childhood. In some ways I feel like I’ve been entertaining the story of Anna in my imagination since I was a very little girl.

As a child, I was raised in the Christian tradition. An eager and ready participant, I loved learning about the great and powerful mysteries I could feel all around, and above, me. And I loved the drama and sensuality of church and our celebrations. Yet as time went on, I began to feel a definite sense of being somehow excluded from the whole enterprise. After all, church leaders could only be male, our God was male, and the main player was the Father’s only son.
Was there no place for me in all this? I remember wondering.
So one day, at age six, I did something to fix the situation: I carried my desk into the driveway, covered it with a white sheet, adorned the front with a red felt cross and, upon this makeshift altar, held “church” for a gathering of neighborhood children.

My impersonation of a priest caused quite a stir, as you can imagine. Yet, however amusing, this story encapsulates a child’s powerful longing to carve a place for herself in the world of spirituality.

But guess what?  It didn’t work.

Life went back to the status quo. And for the next decade or so, I lived a kind of double life. In the first, I was a young person thrilled by the miraculous power of the world around me, inspired to seek the deeper meaning and purpose of things. Yet in the second, I was an apathetic practitioner of my religion. Just going through the motions.   

Over time, I grew more and more bothered by what felt like a “boys club” to which I could not be admitted. And I vividly remember thinking it wrong that the people who seemed to most innately embody the ideals that Jesus upheld—forgiveness, compassion, cooperation, nonviolence, respect for life—were not being included, nor honored, in our endeavors.

(The same disparity holds true today. Survey any of our major religions and you’ll find half of the world’s population excluded from its imagery and leadership.)
For years, I didn’t question the way things were. But when I entered college my youthful discontent would mix with a variety of influences: personal experiences, college studies with Jesuits, independent study of prehistoric cultures, mythology, ancient and modern spiritual traditions, and the leading-edge scholarship that had uncovered efforts throughout history to remove the feminine from the spiritual domain.
Having felt first-hand the negative effects of living under a religion that sets the male higher than the female, I decided to try and instigate change.

THE WAY, then, is my adult version of holding church in the driveway. It’s my second attempt at offering up a tangible vision of spirituality that is more balanced and inclusive. One that includes and honors the true value of women and girls, in its imagery, leadership, and practice. And one where we might dare to imagine the possibility that a great spiritual leader could be a woman.
I’m hopeful that someday the possibility of this new spiritual world will arise. And while it’s too late for the little girl in the driveway, it’s not too late for my child. Or for the children yet to come.    

Please enjoy an excerpt from The Way by Kristen Wolf!


“Be a good girl and cover your face,” her mother counseled. Anna draped a shawl over her head and bound it halfway up her cheeks. She watched her mother arrange bowls of dates, cheese, and olives on a tray. She placed a pitcher of milk among the bowls and capped it with a square of linen. As her mother did these things, her hands came to rest on her swollen belly then flew off, repeatedly, like frightened doves.

“Hurry to Grandfather and be home before morning meal,” she said. She lowered the tray into her seven-year-old’s waiting hands. She pulled back the camel skin hide that hung across the front door. Anna’s head brushed the underside of her mother’s belly as she slipped around her and stepped, blinking, into the light.

Early morning had bathed the village in its usual peach wash. A liquid glow
dripped down straw roofs and reddened clay walls. The thirty or so dwellings in the village huddled together like squat toads.

Anna walked past the manger her father had built. Its thatched roof balanced sturdily on hand-carved wooden beams. Beneath, two cows and a small flock of goats sprawled about crunching mouthfuls of hay. When the smaller animals caught sight of the young girl, they nickered and trotted in pursuit.



Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

Blog Tour: The Way by Kristen Wolf


The Way
written by Kristen Wolf          
published by Crown Publishing Group

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I am participating in the blog tour for The Way through CLP Blog Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)


Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had. I found it to be thought provoking and an interesting way to see things and rethink familiar teachings and stories. 

The characters were wonderfully written. Anna, Jesus, Peter, Ruth, Judas, Tabitha…all of them were fantastic. Peter – so confused and hurt. Judas – the conflict he must have had throughout the whole story. Ruth and Tabitha – such love and strength are found in these two women. Anna – finding her place in her world. Jesus – trying to find his place in the world. The scenery and landscaping were written such that I could see it in my mind’s eye. 

There are parts of this book that I disagreed with, but I kept reminding myself that this is a work of fiction that wants the reader to ask “what if?”. This work will give people something else to think about. Even still, some parts really bothered me. I’m not going to spoil this book with this review. I was with everything up until the last 60+ pages. That is when it really struck a nerve and bothered me. Part of me wishes it didn’t go where it went. However, it fit with where the direction of the book went.

But, all-in-all, a good book. Well worth the time to read. 

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book with the caveat that you definitely need an open mind when reading The WayBook groups will love it because it will spark debate and conversation. 

Will I read it again: I will not unless it comes up as a book group selection. 

About the book – from Goodreads: Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father—disguising her as a boy—sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her. 

When danger befalls the caves in which the sisters have made their home, Anna embarks on a hazardous mission to preserve the wisdom of her mentors by proclaiming it among ordinary people. Her daring quest and newfound destiny reveal, at last, the full truth of her identity—a shocking revelation that will spark as much controversy as it does celebration.  





About the Author: Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.
As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.

Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.

Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.

Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.
As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as filmmaker and writer.

The Way is her first novel.

Find Kristen here: webFacebook


Come back on Thursday for an excerpt from The Way 
and a guest post by the author, Kristen Wolf!


Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!