Archives for September 2012

Blog Tour: War Stories by Elisabeth Doyle

War Stories
written by Elisabeth Doyle
published by Two Harbors Press

find it here: (affiliate links) 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 the book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I had a hard time after finishing this book collecting my thoughts. I finished this book in a few hours…although the stories are short, they make you think. This collection of short stories is very emotional. The stories were sad but, as the book synopsis says, they leave you wanting more.

Each of the nine stories are about 10 pages long – give or take some. They all were tragic yet some you could find a positive outcome. My favorite story that you could imagine and see the change to a positive was “One of These Days It Will All Be Over.” This story touched me and showed that Diego was a true hero despite his struggles. The ending was great and I hope that the children see a new side to their dad. I imagine that they do…but that is part of the “leave you wanting more” that the book blurb promises.

“Median” and “Love Spell” were two other stories that left me with a good feeling despite the tragedy and sadness within them.
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Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to those people who enjoy short stories that really make you think and that stay with you after you have finished reading them.

Will I read it again: I will not read this book again.

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About the book – from the publisher: We all carry our own battle scars. 

This is the premise of War Stories, a rich collection of short fiction that draws upon both the literal and figurative meaning of its title.  Through a diverse array of characters, settings, and circumstances, War Stories delivers a series of powerful tales from the home front of war: the stories of parents, siblings, and spouses of those who have fought, as well as those who have returned from battle.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary conflicts, War Stories’ compelling nine narratives tell of a wounded veteran who seeks renewal through an imagined relationship with a neighborhood girl, a grieving father who finds peace and reconciliation at the site of a disastrous bus crash, a young woman who searches for identity and meaning in the wake of her husband’s injury, and an urban teenager engaged in a fateful standoff with local recruiters. Interspersed with these tales are powerful, non-traditional “war stories” – of youth, unexpected loss, and heartbreaking love. War Stories’ thoughtful and beautifully crafted tales, which range in style from deceptively simple to rich and complex, tell of people young and old, male and female, who share two things: humanity and resilience. These diverse and deftly written stories are joined through Elisabeth Doyle’s remarkable style and ease in creating a universe full of despair, hope, and dreams. At turns tender and harsh, tragic and yearning, these stories will leave you wanting more.

About the author: Elisabeth Doyle is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. She studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University at Albany, and is completing a Masters of Laws Degree at Georgetown University Law Center.  Ms. Doyle’s short fiction was published in the literary journal Nadir and was awarded the University at Albany’s Lovenheim Prize for best short fiction. Her first short film, Hard Hearted One, was admitted into the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema and the Street Films Film Festival, and was shown on Public Television and Manhattan Cable. War Stories is her first collection of short fiction.

Find Ms. Doyle here: webGoodreads

efchappy
h&m online

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour – Spotlight: At What Cost by J. Anderson with a guest post by the author

At What Cost
written by J. Anderson          
published by Astraea Press

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


About the book – from Goodreads: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.

While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.


Every Free Chance Book Reviews would like to welcome J. Anderson to the blog today. She has written the following guest post on why she writes YA books.


Why I write YA by J. Anderson

I could answer this in one phrase: Because YA ROCKS! But I suppose that would still leave many of you hanging as to my in depth reasons, so I’ll take a moment to elaborate.


It all started when I was teaching middle school English. In order to keep up with the kids and to do it on their level, I began reading what they were reading. As soon as I started, I fell in love with the genre. Students would recommend books to me, and I’d recommend books to them. And we’d talk.


There’s something about YA literature that allows teens to open up, to relate to life through the words on the page. I loved this. I wanted to be able to connect with kids on their own level. YA literature allowed me to do that.


I also love YA because there’s such a wide variety of stories to choose from. You can grab something light and romantic like Sarah Dessen books, you can hit the middle road with some tough issues with Laurie Halse Anderson, or you can take a dive into the controversial with Ellen Hopkins. For those looking for fantasy, you can hit up a Christopher Paolini or a dystopian with Suzanne Collins or James Dashner. I look at the wide variety of topics, and I can’t help but respect these writers who are willing to put it on the line to reach kids. Look at Jay Asher with 13 REASONS WHY, LHA with WINTERGIRLS or SPEAK, and Hopkins with her CRANK or GLASS. These books approach issues that teens are dealing with. Suicide, anorexia, date rape, drugs. Like it or not, teens have to think about these things. And most of the time, talking to a parent is difficult for them. That’s why it’s so important to have something to identify with. Something that will make a young person think about their own life, about the decisions they make, and about how they treat others.


That’s why I love YA. It brings forth reality in a way a teen can relate to. It makes them think about how the world is and how they will fit into it. Now, that’s not to say all YA deals with tough issues. Certainly not, sometimes it’s just a good, fast paced story with amazing characters who draw us into their world, who make us fall in love or want to stand up for what’s right. And that’s needed just as much as those tough topic kind of books.


Whatever your taste, once you try YA, you’ll never look back. J I know I haven’t. 


About the author: Jessie Andersen lives in a small town in Western New York with her husband and three kids. A former English teacher, she now spends her time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. She volunteers at the local library and sings in the church band.

Find Ms. Anderson here: web, personal blog, book blogFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads

And now for the awesome GIVEAWAY!!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win one of THREE ebook copies of At What Cost! This giveaway is open internationally.



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Be sure to check out the other blog tour stops hosted by YA Bound!


http://www.readinginwinter.com – September 24 – Review
http://www.leisurereads.com – September 24 – Review
http://edandemreviews.blogspot.com/ – September 24 – Review
http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/ – September 25 – Review
http://www.readergirlsblog.com – September 25 – Interview & Excerpt
http://clairelouisereads.blogspot.com.au/ – September 25 – Review
http://scarletsilhouettes.blogspot.com/ – September 25 – Review
http://www.blookgirl.com – September 26 – Review
http://www.fortheloveoffilmandnovels.com/ – September 26 – Review
http://melissaseclecticbookshelf.blogspot.com – September 26 – Promo Post
www.sweetsouthernhome.net – September 27 – Promo Post
http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/ – September 27 – Review
http://everyfreechancebookreviews.blogspot.com/ – September 27 – Promo Post
http://paigebradish1996.blogspot.com/ – September 27 – Promo Post
http://book-spark.blogspot.com/ – September 28 – Review
http://taralenwalker.blogspot.com/ – September 28 – Promo Post
http://myneuroticbookaffair.blogspot.com – September 28 – Review
http://andisyoungadult.blogspot.com – September 29 – Review
http://www.crossroadreviews.com – September 29 – Review
http://themodpodgebookshelf.blogspot.com – September 29 – Promo Post


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

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers
written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh        
published by Random House Publishing Group

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


Why did I pick this book: This was my book group’s pick for August.


Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was beautifully written. I read it every free chance I had. I wanted – no, I needed – to see how it all worked out in the end. And I was not disappointed with the ending.

I had mixed feelings with Victoria. I liked her and I wanted her to overcome her past and succeed in her future. But, at the same time, I found her to be selfish and sometimes the cause of her own misery. It was wonderful to see Victoria take someone – Marlena – under her wing and help her move forward much like Renata did for her. There were other events that happened to Victoria that I just couldn’t believe her reactions and subsequent actions. (I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone…but there were parts that made me angry with Victoria.) But in her heart, Victoria was a good person and tried to do her best.

Elizabeth was a character that I really liked. She made some mistakes but she had the best intentions. I really loved Elizabeth in the end. Renata was a great friend, mentor, and there when Victoria most needed someone in her life. Renata was there even though she didn’t know Victoria’s story…she knew something and that intuition made her an even greater friend to Victoria. I felt so bad for Grant. He was so patient and loving. I loved how he and Victoria “met.” That was very interesting writing – a great exchange between these two characters.

I’ve always known that some flowers meant certain things or conveyed certain messages. I did not know, prior to reading this book, the extent of these definitions and meanings or the differences that are out there. It was a neat experience to read how people can convey a message with a simple flower and have the message understood and appreciated in some form by the receiver. 

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It was a great book club book.

Will I read it again: I will not.


About the book – from Goodreads: 
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blast: Concilium by Michelle Pickett

Concilium
written by Michelle Pickett          
published by MuseItUp Publishing

About the book:  A tale of deadly creatures and forbidden romance…

Leslee hit a strange animal with her car. Now she’s marked for death.

It was a simple car accident – the animal didn’t even die – but it drew the attention of the Cruor Imbibo. Driven by their insatiable need to feed, the secret society of Imbibo has devoured the dregs of civilization for centuries. Afraid Leslee will expose them, and put an end to their meal ticket, the Imbibo want her dead.

The Concilium is Leslee’s only protection. Guardian of the ancient secret and the protector of humans, the Concilium fights to control the Imbibo and end their feeding frenzy. Miller works for the Concilium. Keeping Leslee alive is his next assignment.

Now Leslee is on the run, and the only thing between her flesh and the snapping jaws of the Imbibo is Miller. He and Leslee quickly form a bond, but will falling in love make Miller’s job more difficult? Because if he fails, Leslee will be next on the Imbibo menu.

The Cruor Imbibo are coming, and they’re coming for Leslee.

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazonGoodreads,  MuseItUpPublishingBookstrandOmnilitSmashwordsKindlegraph

About the author: Michelle has been an avid reader since a young child.  She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting.  Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was her form of cruel and unusual punishment, she decided to do what she really wanted to—share her passion for reading and writing with others.

She wrote her debut novel Concilium in 2010.  It was released July of 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing.  The sequel, Concilium: The Departure will also be published by MuseItUp Publishing with scheduled release date of November 2012.

Her Debut young adult novel, PODs, will be published by Spencer Hill Press and is scheduled for release in paperback June 4th, 2013.  Milayna, a young adult paranormal romance, will be released through Spencer Hill Press March 2014.

Michelle was born and raised in Michigan.  She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her incredibly supportive husband, four wonderful children, a 125-pound lap dog, a very grumpy cockatiel and a cat that thinks it’s queen.

Michelle writes adult and young adult Sci/Fi and urban fantasy romance.

Find Ms. Pickett here: web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

And now for the awesome Book Blast Giveaway!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Code!

Ends 10/2/12
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.


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


Spotlight and Guest Post: When Girlfriends Break Hearts by Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Break Hearts By Savannah Page - EBook CoverWhen Girlfriends Break Hearts
written by Savannah Page
published by Pearls and Pages

find it here: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book – from the author: A novel about the bonds of friendship, the power of forgiveness, and the lessons you learn when you let go.

Sophie Wharton doesn’t like losing control, especially of her life. She’s always been the girl who’s kept it together—the girl with a charming boyfriend, a lively social life, and plans to start her own bakery. Life is great for Sophie a few years out of college in Seattle…or so she thinks.
Then a series of events start to turn Sophie’s perfectly ordered world upside down.
After three years, her boyfriend suddenly decides to call it quits. Her close camaraderie of girlfriends is starting to fall apart. Secrets are exposed. And when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, Sophie learns that one of her friends is fighting a devastating battle.
Now living with her best friend Claire, Sophie struggles with learning to forgive or forget those who break hearts, while trying to accept that there are some situations she cannot control. But is there still a light at the end of the tunnel? Can a girl find the “good” in the “bad”?
This is a heartfelt story about what happens when friendships take different paths and when life doesn’t exactly go according to plan. It’s a story about betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, and letting go. About what happens when girlfriends break hearts.

Every Free Chance Book Reviews would like to welcome Savannah Page, author of When Girlfriends Break Hearts and Bumped to Berlin, to the blog today!!! She has written the following for all of you!

Thank you so much, Chrissy, for inviting me to guest post on your Blog and for doing a When Girlfriends Break Hearts spotlight! And thank you, readers and blog followers, for stopping by today!
I recently saw a quote from an actor (whose name escapes me) that if you’re to play your character well and true, then you must love your character, even if there isn’t much to admire about her. You have to know her, inside and out, to be able to play an authentic and believable character. The quote resonated with me (the name of the actor, apparently not), so while pondering what to write about for Chrissy’s fabulous Blog, I decided to run with this unnamed actor’s message.
Before I get started, I can’t say that I becomemy novels’ characters. If that happened it would be a very confusing place upstairs in my noggin and probably give a whole new meaning to multiple personalities. The loving part, however, is something that I think I’ve got down pat. I even love my (gasp!) antagonists. Okay, I write chick lit and antagonists aren’t usually the big bad creepers they are in thrillers, so they’re not impossible to love. But still, they’re not easy to love, and I love them nevertheless.
I love each and every one of my characters because the love I feel for them makes them real. And when my characters feel real to me—when I can imagine them going with me to the coffee shop or on my Fave Five call list—I know I’ve created believable characters. I’ve created characters that my readers can also believe are real and, therefore, they can find themselves transported to my fictitious world! They can enjoy the reading experience as if it was a real day out with the girls, or a real walk in the park, or an actual date with Prince Charming.
When Girlfriends Break Hearts is the first chick lit piece I’ve published, and its sequel (When Girlfriends Step Up) is coming out this Thursday! These books are part of a six- or seven-book series—the When Girlfriends… series. There are six best girlfriends in this group and each one gets their own book. Why seven? Well, one particular character might need two books to tell her story. 😉 As I currently write the third novel in the series, I’m finding that the women in this fictitious “girlfriend group” have become very special to me. Am I beginning to believe they’re real? Definitely! But shhh, don’t call the shrink just yet. I think Sophie, Robin, Claire, Emily, Jackie, and Lara are all real because I love them so much. I love them for their flaws and their almost-perfections, for their brazen outlooks on life and their insecurities, for their mistakes and their proud moments.
As a writer I believe you need to be so engrossed in your work that your characters do receive your love, they do become real, and, when you’re brought back to reality on occasion, you can’t help but feel a little sad that they’re not actual people. You miss them, in a way. (I say “on occasion” because even when I’m not in the writing room I’m imagining scenes between the women and figuring out plot developments. Get me in the shower and my synapses are firing like mad for some reason!)
So, let’s take the protagonist of When Girlfriends Break Hearts as an example: Sophie Wharton. I love this character so much. (And not just because she’s the leading lady of my first book in the series.) Sophie is a control freak who can’t get her life together and back in order because of, well, life. She’s faced with challenges, and I love her not because she tries to learn how to dust herself off, but mostly because she actually does fall. She’s…real.
The protagonist of my new novel, When Girlfriends Step Up, is Robin Sinclair, and I love her because she’s the most self-conscious and meek, yet also the most brave and empowering of the women. She’s got quite a lot on her plate as a single mom, but her ability to see past herself and at the greater picture just makes me smile.
Characters like Claire make me laugh. She’ll jog every single day because it’s good for her, then considers baked Cheetos a healthy snack option. She thinks at least three applications of sunscreen in an hour should do the trick, and she subscribes to the theory that when at first you don’t succeed, nag, nag again. She’s head-over-heels with her freshman love from college, but she is still lacking the bling. And her paranoid little self doesn’t handle that too well. I love her because she’s that sunshine type of hyper energy, and, once upon a time, I could relate to the, “Am I ever going to get married?!” quandary.
Emily is one of my most inspiring of characters. She’s a world-traveler and though she’s thousands of miles away from home (Seattle), and from her best mates, it’s as if she’s right around the corner. She has one of the biggest hearts and most open of minds. I love her because I understand her (okay, not the “I’m a wealthy world-traveler part”). I understand Emily because she, like myself and all of my friends, is thousands of miles away from her girls, but she still makes it happen. She still talks to them, emails them, and keeps alive relationships that are so strong. My own girlfriends and I have that kind of relationship. We’re all spread over the map now. And as much as I wish we were close enough to borrow a cup of sugar (or get together for Bachelor nights), the fact of the matter is…we can’t. But we’re still great friends. No matter the distance!
Jackie is my crazy character who I might love the most. (Yes, an author can have favorites. 🙂 ) She’s my wild-child with a penchant for the salt and pepper types and anything with a brand label. Trouble is, she can’t keep a job for very long, nor a boyfriend, so her life is…always interesting. She may be a bit flighty, but she loves her girlfriends and will always have their backs (even though it seems they’ve got hers 24/7 because of some shenanigan she’s gotten herself into). Jackie’s true devotion to her friends reminds me that endearing friendships are pretty darn amazing things.
And last, but never least, is Lara. Only a couple years older than the rest, but sometimes worlds ahead of the gang when it comes to “growing up”, she’s the maternal one. I love Lara because she helps keep me grounded as a writer. As much as I want to soap opera it up, Lara’s sitting there in her pants suit on the futon in my office, saying, “Savannah, not every day is a party.” Lara is the serious career woman and the caretaker of the group, but, as in the novel I’m currently working on, she’s finding herself turning to her girlfriends for some major help.
 My characters. I love them. Sometimes I feel a little bit Sophie-ish one day. Or I make a total Claire move. Or I have a Lara moment. My characters are real. Well, as real as they’ll ever be until Nancy Myers picks up my books and decides films mustbe made. (Nancy, if you’re reading, I’m dead serious.) And that’s what I, as a reader, crave when I’ve got my hands on a new book. Are these characters real? Am I being transported to another world? Am I sad when I read ‘The End’? As a writer, I hope my books, and my girls, leave readers feeling just like that.
I suppose spending time writing a lengthy series about these girls is making me love them more and more. It’s quite nice having a series. I don’t have to bid these characters farewell after 80,000-something words. Of course, when the time comes, I’m sure it’ll be extremely difficult to say goodbye. There won’t be enough Puffs on the desk or jammed in pockets to console me. Guess I better put on my Robin face and buck up! But until book six or seven comes, I’ll keep on writing away for all of my When Girlfriends… readers. And for myself. And for my band of six girlfriends.
Thank you again for letting me share today, Chrissy! I hope you enjoy the first two books in the series and I look forward to your reviews!
P.S.— Last night I had an ah-ha moment in the shower (from where all the good strokes of genius come) about the actor in question. Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Phew! Glad to know my mind isn’t completely gone in my fictitious world.

 

Savannah Page, authorAbout the author: Savannah Page, a native southern Californian and University of Tulsa graduate, lives in Berlin with her husband. She is the author of the contemporary women’s fiction/chick lit book, When Girlfriends Break Hearts, and its sequel, When Girlfriends Step Up. She is also the author of Bumped to Berlin, a personal narrative and her first book. When the keyboard gets to cool, Savannah enjoys a good book with a latte and jazz tunes, Frasier re-runs, and Pilates.

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

And check out her new release, When Girlfriends Step Up, due out on September 27th at Amazon for Kindle!

When Girlfriends Step Up - EBOOK - JPEG DraftAbout the book: A novel about love and support, and learning that with enduring friendships, no woman is ever alone.

Robin Sinclair is young, determined, and has a promising career at a small publishing house in Seattle. Even though she considers herself unlucky in love, Robin still dreams of eventually meeting Mr. Right and having a happily-ever-after kind of life. And at twenty-five, the world of opportunity is wide. But it’s been a difficult year filled with trials…and it’s only just begun.
While long-time friendships are finally on the mend, and things are starting to look up again, Robin is faced with her biggest challenge yet. She’s single and pregnant.
Uncertain now of her future and scared of being alone, Robin must re-examine her life and choices, and summon the courage to step up.
With the love and support of her best girlfriends from college, especially her best friend and roommate, Lara, Robin will learn that when the going gets tough, the best of friends become family. And, perhaps, with their encouragement, Robin can mature and gain the confidence needed to become a single mother. And, who knows about being unlucky in love. Things are suddenly getting interesting with Robin’s attractive co-worker, Bobby.
This is the endearing sequel to When Girlfriends Break Hearts about maturity and perseverance. It’s a story about friends coming together as family, about finding the strength within and around, and about writing your ownhappily-ever-after. About what happens when girlfriends step up.

 

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

Blog Tour – Spotlight: The Red Serpent Trilogy by Rishabh Jain

The Red Serpent Trilogy
written by Rishabh Jain          
published by Two Harbors Press

This blog tour is hosted by Tribute Books. The official blog tour page can be found here 

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


About the book – from the publisher: “The evils of the World in which Anaxagoras shall come will be caused by the unworthy people of the world. Our race shall come unto the Earth and bravely wage war with them . . .”

In 2021, the Vampires attacked Earth and decimated the human population. After a fierce and bloody battle, war commander John Howe led the forced evacuation of the humans to the gigantic orbiting space station Regnum, and the human refugees have been there ever since.

Then one day, General Howe’s orphan nephew, Alexander, uncovers a terrible secret about his past — and that he may be the subject of prophesy.

“Two decades later, a new kind of evil, a Falsifier, shall come unto the Earth . . .”

The boy’s world is turned upside down when Gareng, the Vampiric General, reveals his own family ties to Alexander. As the two grow closer, Gareng begins to question the wisdom of his people waging Vampiric war on the humans. But Gareng’s own son will stop at nothing to seize control and eliminate the humans once and for all . . .

“There will be a second coming of Anaxagoras, when the sun is blocked by the moon . . .”

After learning his true origins, Alexander finds himself in an impossible situation: he must choose whether his allegiance lies with his mother’s people, or with his father’s — and condemn the other to certain doom.

“In the End of Days, the Falsifier shall challenge Anaxagoras for the fate of the world…”

But migra is thicker than water, and as Alexander embraces his role as Falsifier, he begins to hope that there could be another way.

Can Alexander forge a peace between the two warring factions — could he and Gareng ever convince the Vampires to agree — or will prophecy reach its bloody final chapter as Earth is plunged again into unrelenting war?

About the author: Rishabh Jain was born in the city of Kanpur, in India, in 1990. From a young age, he displayed remarkable traits of creativity and inventiveness. When a young boy of 8 or 9 years old, Rishabh left his father (himself an electrical engineer) shocked and speechless one day, when he managed to make an asymmetrical and unbalanced structure made of blocks, with which he was very fond of playing, stand stable for 2 to 3 minutes, blissfully unaware that the laws of physics and mechanics made it impossible.

Rishabh entered Pathways World School in 2003, an International Baccaulaureate School on the outskirts of New Delhi, in the 8th Grade. Here, his multidisciplinary talents and interests blossomed in the creative environment of an International Level School. He was awarded an Academic Merit Scholarship from Pathways World School, for the academic years 2004-05 and 2005-06 (his 9th & 10th Grades). Being an absolutely ardent fan of and enamored by theLord of the Rings trilogy, and the Harry Potter series, it was his dream to write a story of his own as a “Trilogy.” This was the inspiration from which he conceived the genesis and plot of this current book The Red Serpent Trilogy, and he finally realized his dream and completed the book in 2006 and was issued the copyright to the same in January of 2007.

Rishabh completed his High School (10th Grade) in 2006, with an award of Distinction from IGCSE, Cambridge. He participated in “Harvard Model Congress Asia” (a three-day student conference organized by Harvard University, where selected students were invited from around the world to take part in simulations of the United States Congress) in Bangkok, in September 2006. He also was a participant in Ryan International School’s Indian Model United Nations (INMUN) in 2006, which was a three-day simulation of the United Nations, wherein he received a Certificate of Achievement.

While studying for the International Baccaulaureate Diploma (11th & 12th Grades) in the same school, Rishabh participated in and won 1st prize in two competitions (one for extempore speaking and the other for debate) in VIVUM Bangalore (India). He also built a Bio-Gas plant during a Community Service Project in a village of Rajasthan near Rathambore National Park. Rishabh was democratically elected by the student body for a period of two years (2007 & 2008) as a member of the Student Council (consisting of a total of twelve members representing the whole school) — a most responsible and keenly contested and coveted position.

Due to the peer recognition of his multidisciplinary talents in Creative Writing, English, Literature, and General Knowledge, and his unique ability to relate to people, Rishabh was also elected as the Editor of the Annual School Magazine Rewind. In June 2007, Rishabh participated in “GLOBAL YOUNG LEADERS CONFERENCE” (GYLC) in Washington & New York. This was a global conference, where approximately 200 international students from various countries around the globe were invited to attend. The conference lasted two weeks, with one in Washington and one in New York. He was awarded “Youth Leadership Award” in recognition of meritorious achievement in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.

Due to his exemplary performance in GYLC in 2007, he was invited to attend a week-long program, and as a special guest among a very few selected international students, attended the appointment and swearing-in ceremony of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the USA, in January 2009. After earning his International Baccaulaureate Diploma (11th & 12th Grades) in 2008, from among a large number of offers from various prestigious Universities, Rishabh entered the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he presently resides and is currently pursuing his engineering degree. Amid his grueling schedule of Engineering studies, Rishabh has almost completed a 2nd book, which is a space science fiction adventure & love story.

Find Mr. Jain here: web, FacebookGoodreads

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

Blog Tour: Mahogany Slade by Stephen Robinson

Mahogany Slade
written by Stephen Robinson          
published by Black Saint Records

find it here: Amazon, Goodreads


Why did I pick this book: I am a stop on the blog tour hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)


Did I enjoy this book: Mahogany Slade was a sweet book that brings back the memories of your freshman year at college — a time of discovery, new love and experiences, the occasional class, some parties, and drinking. 

Brad Carlton was very proper in his thoughts and actions. His narrative was a great point of view but his use of large words – such as extemporize, reveries, and punctiliously – did not sound like the typical college freshman that I have met. With that being said, his narrative style fit his character very well. 

Janet Tomalin is Brad’s love although it takes a while for either of them to come to terms with that. I really didn’t like Janet at all. She seemed like a user…she only wanted Brad around when it was convenient to her. What I didn’t understand is why Janet had to call Brad “kiddo”. That would have bothered me so much. It seemed rather condescending. Although I did not like Janet, I think that was the point of her character because at some point, especially in college, everyone falls for someone who isn’t good for us or isn’t nice or whatever. But you think they are the best and that no one will ever compare to that person. This seems to have happened to each of the characters in Brad’s college world.

The secondary characters were also well written. The reader gets a glimpse as to who each of them are. Heather is the best friend that is not a threat to other girls in Brad’s life. Andy and Eddie are great acquaintances who also fall for the wrong girls and don’t really see it until it is too late. Evelyn is the enemy. Jaye is confused and searching.

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book if you like coming of age novels and you want to relive some of your fond college memories. 


Will I read it again: No, I will not read Mahogany Slade again. 


About the book – from the author: 
Beautiful, sophisticated, and unpredictable, Janet Tomalin represents every fantasy Brad Carlton grew up having — and more than a few he never realized.

When they meet on their first day of college in Athens, Georgia, the stylish New Yorker completely upends the staid Southerner’s ordered universe.  They fall for each other intensely and completely. It’s the all-consuming passion of a natural performer and her adoring audience.

There’s just one problem: Mahogany Slade, the woman from Janet’s not-so-distant past… and inescapable future. Janet knows once Brad meets the dangerous Miss Slade and learns the truth, their once-in-a-lifetime love is doomed.

Mahogany Sladeis the romantic yet acerbic story of young people escaping themselves in a town where your identity is everything. It’s as sweet as Janet finds Brad and as irresistible as he finds her. 


About the author: Stephen Robinson graduated from the University of Georgia in 1996. He has lived in many places but feels at home somewhere else. He’s written for newspapers and magazines. Mahogany Slade is his first work of fiction.

Find Mr. Robinson here: webFacebookGoodreads

Mr. Robinson is doing an awesome giveaway on his Facebook page. Be sure to check it out!!


“Mahogany Slade,” by Stephen Robinson, is about first love, that moment when your favorite songs suddenly make sense because they’re now about someone else. 

Post a note on the wall of the “Mahogany Slade” Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mahoganysladebook) telling us what song or movie will always remind you of your own Mahogany Slade… even if it’s been years since you met.

The author will give a copy of “Mahogany Slade” to his 10 favorite posts.


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

GIVEAWAY!! Blog Tour – Spotlight: Catch the Sun by Lee Zamloch with an interview with the author

Catch the Sun
written by Lee Zamloch          
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


About the book – from the author: Marilyn Monroe begins appearing on Amanda Grace’s patio dancing, laughing at the moon and gazing at Amanda through the glass doors. Is it possible that Marilyn, against all reason, has somehow transported herself through time and space to contemporary Los Angeles? And why does she haunt Amanda, a model whose beauty is undeniable, but whose talent is questionable?

The visitations begin when Amanda’s mother, Edith, commits suicide, an event that shakes Amanda to her foundation. For, while she has been a successful model, she has always measured herself against her mother, a well-known artist who has overcome severe obstacles. But unlike Edith and her accomplished sister, Joanne, Amanda Grace has not distinguished herself intellectually or artistically, nor even managed to marry and have children. In her eyes, she has failed to live up to her mother’s expectations. Now, with Edith’s death, she has forever lost her chance to prove herself. In her grief, she forgets to eat, sleep, or carry on with life’s simplest tasks. The final blow comes when Amanda accidentally learns she was adopted. With the loss of her family as a touchstone, her foundation crumbles, and her fragile sense of self dissolves completely.

CATCH THE SUN is a story about how an obsession with a celebrity can impact the life of an ordinary woman. It explores our endless fascination with Marilyn Monroe’s fragility, beauty and dazzling rise and fall.


Every Free Chance Book Reviews would like to welcome Lee Zamloch, author of Catch the Sun, to the blog today! She is on tour with Sage’s Blog Tours. She has answered some questions for all of you.


1.   What kind of research did you have to do while writing your book, Catch the Sun?

I read everything I could get my hands on about Marilyn Monroe. I watched all her movies.

2.   Which character did you enjoy writing the most? The least?

Marilyn was the easiest and most fun to write. Amanda Grace gave me some trouble. She started off as a graduate student, then became a teacher, and finally, I turned her into the model she is the final version.

3.   Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 

If you’ve ever been fascinated by a famous person; if you’ve ever wondered why we project our own fantasies and needs onto famous people; if you’ve ever been interested in Marilyn Monroe, you should read Catch the Sun.


4.   Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Probably my friend and fellow writer, Catherine Ryan Hyde who has taught me how to be a professional through good times and bad.

5.       Who are some of your favorite authors?

Carson McCullers, Joyce Carol Oates, Ian McEwen, Ruth Rendell, John Irving, Wally Lamb, Tana French, Jane Smiley, P.D. James, Anne Tyler, Kate Morton, Michael Connelly, Lisa See, Pat Conroy, Dennis Lehane


6.       How long did it take you to write Catch the Sun? What was the process like?

It took a couple of years and many revisions. It began as a novella. Then I turned it into a short story which was published in a literary journal. Finally, I bit the bullet and wrote the story as a novel.


7.       Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

 I have another novel on Amazon.com called Bear Medicine.I’m working on a novel now about a pimp in 1970s New York who becomes entangled with a college girl to the detriment of them both.
8.       What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. Don’t assume you’re “ready for primetime” until you’ve put in an apprenticeship. The first two or three novels you write won’t be good yet, but hang in there and keep writing.

9.   Is there a book that you have read this year that you couldn’t put down? Is there a book that you are most looking forward to reading this year?

I couldn’t put down Lars Kepler’s The Hypnotist. I don’t currently have any one book I’m dying to read. There are many I’m hoping to enjoy this year.


10.               In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read?

 

The Hours” by Michael Cunningham for its sheer brilliance, depth and wonderful writing.

11.               I see in your biography that you like to hike. Where is your favorite place to hike? And why?

 

I like to hike the hills around my home in San Luis Obispo. Some are quite steep and offer a good challenge. When you get to the top, the view makes it all worth it.

12.               I also see that you like to travel. Where in the world do you want to visit the most?

 Italy’s next. Then I’d like to go to China.



About the author: Lee Zamloch lives on the Central Coast of California where she writes fiction. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and she has won several honors for her writing including the Booklegger Award for best submission of the year from Toyon and honorable mentions from the Nelson Algren Award, and Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. She has published two novels which are available from Amazon.com in both print and kindle editions. She is currently at work on her next novel.

Lee has been a teacher, a consultant, a college professor and a program designer. She enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and romping with her two Siberian huskies, Sunny and Storm.


Find Ms./Mr. here: blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+

And now for an awesome GIVEAWAY!! Ms. Zamloch has agreed to giveaway an ebook copy of Catch the Sun to one lucky reader! Fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win.

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

Spotlight: Twelve Months by Steven Manchester with an excerpt

Twelve Months
written by Steven Manchester          
published by The Story Plant

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads


About the book – from the author: Don DiMarco has a very good life – a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn’t always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full. A glorious celebration of each and every moment that we’re given here on Earth, as well as the eternal bonds that we all share, Twelve Months is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit. 

About the author: Steven Manchester is the published author of Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. 

Find Mr. Manchester here: web, Facebook

Please enjoy this excerpt from Twelve Months.

Though there were empty tables up front, Vic escorted Bella and me to a darkened back room where no one else was seated. The table sat in the center of the room and was very nicely decorated. I could tell by Bella’s face that it seemed peculiar to her. As we took our seats, Vic lit a candle. “I’ll be right back,” he said.

Bella started to question it, but I shrugged it off. “There must have been reservations for the other tables up front?” I suggested.

She nodded, and then noticed a man seated on a stool a few tables over. He was holding a guitar and squinting at some sheet music.

He looked over and smiled. “I hope you guys don’t mind, but I’m trying out tonight for a weekend gig at this place.”

“Oh, that’s great,” Bella said, with no idea Garyhad already landed the job.

“Not a problem,” I added, acting as though I’d never spoken to the man. And through an acoustic set of love ballads, Garywas just as convincing.

Bella had no idea but the order had already been carefully spelled out – drinks first, Pinot Grigio for her; beer for me, and the itinerary would begin. Vic approached with both drinks on a small round tray. “Appetizers tonight?” he asked.

I smiled. “Why don’t we start with an order of little necks in garlic and oil?”

Vic nodded once and headed for the kitchen, while Garyswooned, “You say it best when you say nothing at all…”

Bella leaned into my ear and whispered, “How did he know I wanted white wine?”

I was into my second shrug when Vic returned to the table with a gorgeous arrangement of long stem red roses. Without a word, he placed them in front of Bella and rotated the vase until the card faced her. “Your appetizer should be out in a few minutes,” he said and strutted away again.

Gary was already on his second number when Bella plucked the card from the arrangement. It read: “Bella, I love you, forever – Don.” She looked up to find the entire restaurant staring at us.

“And always will,” I whispered when she leaned over and kissed me.

After the steaming appetizer and another round of drinks, Vic placed a silver platter before my glowing wife. It held a scrolled sheet of parchment secured by red ribbon. She looked up at him, but he never let on. She glanced over at me. “What…”

“Open it,” I said, while Gary strummed away in the background.

She did. It was the one thing she’d always wanted from me, but had never gotten – until now.

 Moments of Destiny

 From the moment I met you,

I knew there was a fire between us

that even hard, driving rain could never put out.

 From the moment we spoke,

I knew I’d spent my entire life

in search of your deep and passionate love.

 From the moment we kissed,

I knew my heart was no longer mine

and I’d finally found my future.

 From the moment we laughed,

I knew there would never be enough time

to share all the things I needed to share with you.

 From the moment we danced,

I knew, at last, what the phrase ‘better half’ meant

and surrendered to your gentle touch.

 From the moment we walked hand-in-hand,

I knew I’d discovered my partner

and that my dreams were suddenly within reach.

 From the moment we lay together,

I knew I’d made it to heaven

and thanked God for blessing me with you.

 From the moment you agreed to be my wife,

I knew my journey was now worth taking,

through days of sunshine –

or nights of hard, driving rain.


 As her watering eyes read the final verse, the musician stopped playing, the restaurant went silent and I went down to one knee. I opened the ring box. “Isabella,” I said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you be my wife…again?”

She never hesitated and dove into my arms. For a while, we just hugged.

“I love you so much,” she cried into my shoulder.

“I know,” I said. “But…”

She pushed away from me and looked into my eyes. “But what?”

“But I need your answer?” I said, grinning.

“Yes…the answer is YES!” she gasped and jumped back into my arms.

The crowd shared a collective sigh, and everyone was clapping when Bella and I returned to reality. It took a few moments before each table returned to its own conversation and half-eaten meals.

Chuckling, I introduced my beautiful wife to Gary, the musician. As they shook hands, Gary admitted, “I was so nervous.”

I bought the man a beer when Vic delivered two previously ordered dinners to our table. Though Bella couldn’t touch hers, I ate and listened to Gary fill the room with a soothing melody. By the time the chocolate covered strawberries arrived for dessert, Bella was emotionally spent. She grabbed me once more for a kiss. “This has been the perfect night,” she whispered.

“And for all these years…you’ve been the perfect wife, my dear.”

As we left the restaurant, another round of applause carried us to the front door. I opened it for my new fiancé – only to discover a white stretch limousine idling at the curb. She quickly turned to me. “It’s not over?”

I shook my head. “It’ll never be over for us.” As we made our way to the limo, waves of nausea threatened to drown me. This is Bella’s perfect night, I told myself, our perfect night. Whatever you do…do not throw up now!


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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blast: Freedom Road by T.M. Souders


Freedom Road 
written by T.M. Souders
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads 

About the book: Since the tender age of eight, music served as Samantha Becker’s source of solace against her father’s tyranny and her mother’s alcoholism. Now at eighteen, her only dream is to study classical guitar at Juilliard. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” which threatens her ability to play the guitar, Sam becomes despondent. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.

Just when Sam has given up, two unexpected people enter her life, giving her the confidence she needs, and forcing her to evaluate all she’s ever known. Battling her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury, the odds are stacked against her. With auditions approaching and time running out, Sam must relearn to play the guitar, or be destined to give up her dreams forever.


About the Author:

T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh. She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women’s Studies. She is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel,Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow and the newly released young adult/crossover novel ,Freedom Road. In her spare time when she is nor writing she is an active volunteer for The World Literary Cafe, a site dedicated to authors and readers. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children.

find Ms. Sounders here: web, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

And now for a fantastic GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Code! But hurry because this giveaway ends on September 27th!

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.

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