Archives for March 2013

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blast: Ixeos by Jennings Wright


Ixeos
written by Jennings Wright
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazon, Goodreads

About the book: The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.

About the author: Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.  

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.  

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo, Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.  

Find Ms. Wright here:  FacebookTwitterWebsiteBlogAmazonGoodreads


Tour Schedule



And now for the Book Blast Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash.

(Ends April 7, 2013)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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

GIVEAWAY! Blog Tour – Spotlight: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud by Jon Thomason with an excerpt

Tour Schedule



Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud
written by Jon Thomason
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book: Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?

Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?

Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She’s really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.

Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won’t permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She’s dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?

Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up) and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.


Praise for Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud


“Impressively inventive and enjoyable…vivid storytelling and exceptional characterization…Max’s personality is layered and complex…conveyed flawlessly…keeping readers intrigued and engaged…writing style is smooth, and a subtle sense of humor comes through…narrative tension builds at a good pace and easily flows toward a satisfying and exciting conclusion…parents are likely to both approve of the story and enjoy reading it themselves…talented writer…sure to find an appreciative audience that will eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.” — ForeWord Clarion Review

“Thomason shines in his heroine’s characterization…magical” –blueink Review


Please enjoy the following excerpt from Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud.


…She spent every possible second learning better control and more power. She couldn’t leave it alone.
When Max was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at age 9, she raged and fought. At the first needle, she shouted, “It’s not fair!” but nothing could express how she felt after hundreds. She was at the mercy of the doctors and of Fate. Couldn’t say no or yes. Couldn’t choose.
Now, her new talent let her take the world on her own terms. It was narcotic and wild. She loved the feeling of gathering a ball of flame brighter than the sun and releasing it any way she could dream up.
She became stronger with the power than she was with her muscles. She learned how to guide the flow of power. It felt like sculpting as she carved the flow of fire into different shapes. The flows could move objects any direction, depending on how she shaped them. She could apply the flows precisely or violently, or better yet, precisely and violently.
Before long, she bored of things she could do in her room and turned to practicing her skills in public. The more she did, the more reckless she became. No one could ever guess—who would believe it? The freedom was exhilarating…



About the author: Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he’s been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.
Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.
And he’s always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered… 

Find Mr. Thomason here: FacebookAmazonGoodreadsTwitter




And now for the Blog Tour Giveaway! Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash plus a copy of Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud!

Print copy to US only, Ebook Internationally
(Ends March 31, 2013)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blitz: The Transcend Time Saga by Michelle Madow

Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1)

written by Michelle Madow

published by Dreamscape Publishing

About the book: Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.
Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.



Vengeance (

Transcend Time Saga #2)

written by Michelle Madow

published by Dreamscape Publishing


About the book: How far would you go to get revenge?

When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she’d never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea’s willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe — that she shared a past life with Drew — is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back … well, it’s downright crazy.

Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?

Find out in Vengeance, the second part of the Transcend Time Saga.

*Vengeance is the short story that bridges the events in Remembrance and the final novel in the Saga.


Timeless (

Transcend Time Saga #3)

written by Michelle Madow

published by Dreamscape Publishing


About the book: IT’S A RACE AGAINST TIME.

In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.

In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.

Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it’s irreversible. There’s only one option left for her to save herself. It’s crazier than anything she’s heard yet, and to do it, she’ll need Drew and Chelsea’s help.

Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began … and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined.

Transcendence: A Transcend Time Bonus Packet is available for free download at Smashwords and iBooks. It is available for $0.99 at Barnes & Noble and Amazon


TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MICHELLE MADOW

1) I love singing—especially Broadway showtunes! I have a mediocre voice though, so I was always in the chorus in school plays. (The high point of my theatre career was when I got the part of Pinocchio at a local theatre group when I was ten. It was downhill from there.) If you want to hear me sing, I have an old video on YouTube (www.youtube.com/michellemadow) of me singing “On My Own” from Les Miserables. But as I warned you, my voice was never “the best,” or good enough to get me a lead part in high school.

2) I was in a pre-professional dance program for ten years. Dance was a HUGE part of my life until my senior year of high school. I did ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, and some tap. When I was in seventh grade I performed with the Russian Ballet in “The Nutcracker”—I had the part of one of the little mice! (When the Russian Ballet tours the country, they cast the children’s roles separately in each city.) I eventually stopped dance in my senior year, because my program wanted me to rehearse until 10:30 PM on Friday nights. I realized I wasn’t going to be a professional dancer, and that I preferred to have a social life.

3) I was in a sorority for my first three years of college. I didn’t plan on doing recruitment, but one of my close friends talked me into attending a “sorority open house,” where I ended up receiving a bid to join the sorority. I didn’t have many friends in the beginning of college, so I decided to join because it would help me branch out. I’m glad I did, because I met my three closest friends in that sorority, and they are still my best friends today. I’m not good at following arbitrary rules though (I question every rule and need to understand WHY it’s in place if I’m going to follow it) so I got in “trouble” with the sorority a lot. I wrote Remembrance when I was a junior, and after signing with an agent in the summer between my junior and senior year of college, I decided to drop out of the sorority in my senior year so I could focus more on my writing.

4) I’ve broken both my ankles—luckily at separate times! The first time was in fourth grade. I was playing a make-believe game with a friend that involved fake-flying. I decided to jump out of a tree. Bad decision. The second time was in sixth grade. I was excited for the end of the school day, and ran to my mom’s car when she arrived to pick me up. I randomly decided to do a ballet leap on the way there, but the ground was icy, and I didn’t land right. Another bad decision.

5) I cannot draw. Seriously … my drawing/painting skills are pathetic. I can barely make a stick figure. Something doesn’t compute right when I try to draw an image. I’m so bad that I can’t even play the game “Draw Something” because I get so frustrated! Part of the reason I made Lizzie an artist in Remembrance is because it’s a skill I highly admire, since I have no concept of how to do it myself.

6) I wish I’d taken writing seriously at a younger age. I never considered writing novels as a serious possibility until I was a junior in college. I wish I could go back in time and tell my fifteen year old self to stop caring about dance so much (since dance was always a short term goal of mine), and to think more long-term and start writing novels in high school. To those of you who are in high school and are already taking writing seriously, I give you major props. I wish I had been more like you when I was your age.

7) I tried to play guitar for years, but was never any good. It’s sad, but true. You see, my dad and brother both play guitar. They’re not experts, but they’re good enough so they can play songs and entertain people. I wanted to be able to do that so badly, so I got a guitar and started playing when I was in tenth grade. I had trouble with strumming at first, but I figured I would improve with practice. After two years of practice, my strumming was still terrible, so I set aside guitar. Then I picked it back up when I was a junior in college. I practiced almost every day when I was a junior and senior, but remained awful at strumming. I could only manage to strum a song right if I focused very hard on it, but then I couldn’t sing along. Even then, the strumming wasn’t that great. Eventually, I realized I just wasn’t naturally talented at guitar, and set it aside again. 

8) I was obsessed with Star Wars in fourth grade. I watched the movies multiple times, and started a Star Wars action figure collection (that I still have today). I have a Millennium Falcon for them and everything! In fourth grade I brought my action figures to school, and insisted my friends do the same, so we could create make believe stories set in the Star Wars universe and have our action figures act them out. (Luckily, I went to a very small school then—I had 12 kids in my grade—and I somehow managed to make Star Wars cool, so no one thought I was a total loser.) I can’t imagine what people would have thought of me if I were in public school!

9) I don’t like most cold or room temperature foods. I have this (kind of weird) thing about hot food. I pretty much ONLY eat food that’s hot. I don’t like cereal for breakfast, and I definitely don’t understand the appeal of sushi for dinner. (Cold AND uncooked?! Gross.) I’ll occasionally have a room temperature food as snack (it happens rarely, though). But I never feel satisfied from a meal unless it’s hot.

10) Discovering that I wanted to take writing seriously made me grow as a person more than I had ever thought possible. In high school and the first two years of college, I worried about what people thought of me. I’ve never been naturally “cool,” but I wanted to be part of that crowd so badly that I tried too hard, which resulted in them not liking me. Then I discovered writing in the beginning of my junior year of college, and suddenly what people thought of me wasn’t important anymore. I realized there was no point in trying to be “cool” when there were tons of other awesome people out there who I had more in common with, anyway, and I had more fun hanging out with. I stopped caring about what others thought of me, and learned to be happy and proud of who I actually am. That realization led to me being happier in those last two years of college than I was in the first two years of college and high school combined—and because I was more confident, I ended up with an awesome group of friends!



About the author: In the fall of 2008, Michelle saw Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video for the first time. She thought up a story to go along with the video, and wrote the first chapter as a homework assignment for class. Her classmates and teacher loved it so much that they wanted to know what happened next, so Michelle continued writing, and that story eventually became Remembrance, the first novel in the Transcend Time Saga. She’s so happy to be able to share this series with you, and hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she loved writing it! Michelle lives in Florida, and is hard at work writing more novels for young adults. 

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

                

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Ms. Madow is giving away an eBook copy of Remembrance, book #1 of the Transcend Time Saga! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

GIVEAWAY!! Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

I am so excited to be a part of the third annual Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer and author Cindy Thomas! This is my first time participating in this hop. I am to giveaway  something that a reader, blogger, or an author may enjoy. As I am a reader and a blogger, I would enjoy a Barnes & Noble gift card as well as a gift card to Starbucks because what is better than a good book and cup of coffee (or tea)! 

So, that is what I am giving away…a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a $5 gift card to Starbucks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the stops on the Hop!

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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blast: Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge by Kendra C. Highley

Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge
written by Kendra C. Highley
published by Kendra C. Highley

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, GoodreadsKoboSmashwords

About the book: When Matt Archer was fourteen, he discovered monsters are real. As if that wasn’t enough to go on for a few decades, Matt also found out that he’d been chosen to hunt those monsters–with a sentient, supernatural knife. Now fifteen, Matt has spent the last year working with a clandestine military unit, trying to rid the world of monsters, demons and other vicious creatures, all while keeping it a secret from nearly everyone he knows back home in Billings.

Including his mom.

Add in a new girlfriend, family secrets, sibling drama and enough homework to sink an aircraft carrier, and Matt’s life has become more complicated than he ever imagined. Worse, the knife has developed some very definite opinions about Matt’s personal life and it interferes in his business whenever it wants. More and more, Matt’s coming to realize that sharing brain-space with a spirit kind of sucks.

When stories of decimated towns and hordes of zombies start pouring into the Pentagon from Afghanistan, Matt knows he’ll be called up soon. Between the new mission and the knife’s increasing control over his mind, Matt wonders if he’ll survive long enough to take his driver’s exam.


Review Quotes for Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge


Blade’s Edge is an exciting continuation of the Matt Archer series. Kendra Highley did not fall victim to the sophomore funk. She has written an emotional and power story about Matt’s horrific journey to rid the world of monsters.” –Kinx’s Book Nook (Amazon)

“I enjoyed Matt Archer: Monster Hunter to the point I was picking it up every time I had spare moments (which are few in my home), but MA: Blade’s Edge has blown me away! Ms. Highley has crafted a story that comes to life with vivid images, exciting adventures, and thrilling mishaps that add a touch of humor (driving test, anyone?)” –Kelly C. (Amazon)

“”Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge” more than delivers what a reader wants from a sequel. The tension and action are taken up a level, as are the mysteries and plot developments.
Best of all, you feel the time passing from book to book and see the characters really grow and change.” –Picky Reviewer (Amazon)

“The Matt Archer books are the best young adult books I’ve read since I was a young adult! Think Supernatural for a younger audience, but better. I’ll be ordering paper copies for my Favorites shelf. Not to be missed!” Sarah G. (Amazon)


Matt Archer: Monster Hunter
written by Kendra C. Highley
published by Kendra C. Highley

find it here: Barnes & NobleAmazonGoodreads, KoboSmashwords

About the book: Fourteen-year-old Matt Archer spends his days studying Algebra, hanging out with his best friend and crushing on the Goddess of Greenhill High, Ella Mitchell. To be honest, he thinks his life is pretty lame until he discovers something terrifying on a weekend camping trip at the local state park.

Monsters are real. And living in his backyard.

But that’s not the half of it. After Matt is forced to kill a strange creature to save his uncle, he finds out that the weird knife he took from his uncle’s bag has a secret, one that will change Matt’s life. The knife was designed with one purpose: to hunt monsters. And it’s chosen Matt as its wielder.

Now Matt’s part of a world he didn’t know existed, working with a covert military unit dedicated to eliminating walking nightmares. Faced with a prophecy about a looming dark war, Matt soon realizes his upcoming Algebra test is the least of his worries.

His new double life leaves Matt wondering which is tougher: hunting monsters or asking Ella Mitchell for a date?

Review quotes for Matt Archer: Monster Hunter


“Terrific page turner; I stayed up half the night reading it, and now I can’t wait for the next installment.”  –Amelia Anne (Goodreads)

“The action is quick-paced, abundant and so much fun!!! I can’t get over just how awesome of a read this book is; I can’t wait for more!!!” –Danielle S. (Goodreads)

“I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. The eponymous narrator is a very likable and believable hero, the world is rich and detailed….
It has been a long time since I was a teenager, but I’m pretty sure that this book would appeal to an audience of all ages.” — Misha B. (Goodreads)

“The action doesn’t stop. Seriously! I was up until after 1am because I couldn’t put it down!” –Riamachia (Amazon)

“It’s funny – I thought I was too old for YA stories, and then I realised that I was just looking for the right kind of stories to hold my interest. This is one of those. If you’re looking for vampires or angels or similar things that tend to make up YA novels at the moment, you won’t find that here – you will, however, find something a bit more awesome.” –Sweartoad (Amazon)


Author Kendra C. Highley
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
 


Find Ms. Highley here: TwitterFacebookPinterest, Goodreads, Website


And now for the Book Blast Giveaway! Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!
(Ends March 24, 2013)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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

Blog Tour: Finding Out by Sheryn MacMunn with an interview

Finding OutFinding Out
written by Sheryn MacMunn
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t that into it at the beginning, but man, I could not put this book down once I got about half way through. I read every free chance I had.

At first, I wasn’t sure about this book. I was expecting a light-hearted chick lit book. This was not that and I am so glad that is wasn’t. There was a lot of emotion in this book. I wasn’t sure how all of the characters fit together in this story. By the end, it made sense. (And, yes, I know, most books do make sense at the end. I’m just saying that really stood out to me.)

Sheila wasn’t your “normal” leading lady. She had some issues of her own. There were quite a few times that I wanted to yell at Sheila to grow up, move on, and take charge. There were other times I did feel bad for her. I was impressed that she befriended her elderly neighbor…not to get anything from it but to make a connection. That connection was just what she needed.

I was amazed at Ruth’s story. So often, we read about the Jews during World War II and all the horrific things they went through. We do not hear that often about what the Germans who didn’t necessarily agree with the Reich went through. It was amazing. I could feel, see, hear, experience it all through Ruth’s story. I was captivated.

Then, the stuff going down at the office where Sheila worked. Kind of figured, but still surprised at the extent. I wanted more about Alessandra. I wanted more about some of the other workers. I wanted a bit more about how all of these things were connected.

I agree with Ms. MacMunn when I asked her about why we should read her book in the interview below. She responded: “Because in a time of seemingly endless change and turmoil, we need to remember that previous generations have endured must worse and triumphed.”

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. In fact, I will be recommending this book to my book group!

Will I read it again: I just may.

chrissysig

About the book – from Goodreads: Getting dumped on the sidewalk by her live-in boyfriend of seven years and finding he nearly emptied their savings account is the first of Sheila Davenport’s problems. At thirty-six, Sheila had thought her life was on track.

Now she’s saddled with a mortgage that is about to skyrocket, a psychotic boss, and she has to train someone who is unqualified and just doesn’t care about the rules. Life no longer makes sense.

Her friends advise her to date immediately, preferably someone rich and successful, or risk being old and alone. But Sheila’s trying to figure out what went wrong and how she got to this place. Since Prince Charming has ruined Sheila’s life, who can save her now?

Help comes unexpectedly from her elderly neighbor, Ruth Grey, who has had her own share of life’s ups and downs. As their friendship grows, Ruth reveals a mesmerizing story of life in WWII Germany mixed with a tale of powerful love and revenge. Ruth’s story provides the perspective that Sheila needs to put the pieces of her own life together.

Will Sheila succeed at work or walk away? Can she save her home? And why do her friends think their lives are any better?

efcinterview
Where did you get your inspiration for Finding OutI realized that there weren’t any books that spoke to a single woman in her 30s who had to deal with life on her own. Most of the chick lit genre focused on younger women on the cusp of figuring out their career and finding love. I wanted to write a story about women in the middle part of her career and the decisions she needs to make to compete in the workplace. Also, I loved Sex and the City but the way those characters dated wasn’t realistic. I didn’t know women who jumped from guy to guy in one week and the women that I know in their 30s aren’t on a quest for love as they were in their 20s. So I wanted a story about women who were experiencing love in a realistic way and getting help by relying on good friends. Finding Out came out of that premise.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 
Because in a time of seemingly endless change and turmoil, we need to remember that previous generations have endured must worse and triumphed.
How did you balance work, family, and writing? It’s not easy. As I write this interview, I’m peeling an orange for one child while another is having a fit over doing homework. When I was writing the novel, however, I set a schedule so everyone knew what to expect. I wrote on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday mornings every week. I also wrote while commuting on the train to New York. I got really good at typing on a Blackberry.  Some nights when I put my daughters to bed, I went back to writing. That way if my kids needed something and I said ‘I’m writing’ they understood that I was doing something important.
What was it like to see Finding Out on Amazon’s Top 50 best seller lists for women’s fiction? Amazing. I jumped out of my seat and screamed for everyone to look at the computer screen! It’s so uplifting to know that people all over the world are reading about the characters that I love. I also called my Mother immediately.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I have four outlines for novels right now. My very next project is a sequel to Finding Out. So many people have written asking to know more about Ruth’s life and wanting answers to some of the mysteries in the novel. After thinking it over and writing a few outlines, I decided that I would have that as my next project. So far, response from my inside circle has been very positive so I’m excited.
What do you enjoy most about writing? The best part about writing is that it takes me on a journey. The characters takeover and bring me into their worlds and tell me their stories. Sometimes I will finish a scene and am startled to find that I am sitting in my kitchen and not in Germany or New York! My least favorite thing is editing. It takes a village to get a book to be properly edited. Then I found my extraordinary editor, Merry Hayes, who tied up all the loose ends and grammatical mistakes. It was then that I realized how critical an editor is to the writing process.
What is your favorite genre to read? Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction.
Who is your favorite author? I always read novels by Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, and Elin Hilderbrand. I also love Phillippa Gregory, Paula McLain, and Martin Amis.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? Gone With The Wind. I read it every ten years. Because the story encompasses life, war and love, my attitude toward the story changes every time I read it. The love stories take on new meaning from when I read it at 14, 24, 34, and after being married. I used to think Scarlett was wonderful and Melanie was the fool. Now I see how wonderful Melanie is and how Scarlett is impetuous. Also, the effects on war take on meaning as I’ve grown and have children of my own.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet…at least not found easily. Yikes. Here it goes.
1.    My house is often messy because I have learned that it is better for everyone if I let go of being perfect. Everyone in the house is happier – though I do sometimes wish that my house looked like a Pottery Barn catalog.
2.    I do not like to cook – thankfully my husband does and is really good at it.
3.    I sometimes eat ice cream instead of a proper meal.

sheryn macmunnAbout the author: Sheryn MacMunn self-published her debut novel, Finding Out, in April 2012. It became an Amazon best-seller in two months, hitting the Contemporary Women and Contemporary Fiction list. FINDING OUT then hit best-seller status in the Single Women, Friendship, Romance, and Love & Romance categories as well. In addition to being a self-published author, Sheryn works full-time in Mobile ad sales. Sheryn attended University of Massachusetts, Lowell and received her MBA from Simmons College School of Management. She now lives in Connecticut with her family.

Find Ms. MacMunn here: web, Facebook, Goodreads

 
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Blog Tour: Torn Together by Emlyn Chand

Torn Together
written by Emlyn Chand         
published by Evolved Publishing

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


Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted 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 rather quickly. The end had me glued to my Kindle and staring at it in disbelief.


Daly is a twenty year old young woman trying to make it as an artist. She has a distant relationship with her mother, whom she calls Laine. This confused me because I originally thought that Laine was her stepmother, not her mother. The things that Laine did following Daly’s father’s death were, in some way, unforgivable yet understandable later in the book. I felt for Daly in the beginning. In the middle, when she met Kashi, I was afraid this was an insta-love storyline that just wasn’t resonating for me. However, the story took a few turns and I loved it. 

Laine, Kashi, and Meghann were great characters that added to Daly’s story. Meghann was a sweet girl in a difficult situation. However, her presence was a godsend in so many ways at different times. Kashi was sweet. At first, I thought he wasn’t going to be a good guy…in fact, I thought he was an older man and kind of creepy. He really had me feeling different things…he was a creep, a mama’s boy, a sweetheart, and a muse. Laine was difficult. I really didn’t like her but then I did but I still don’t thinking about her later. Complex in some ways. Typical in other ways. 

Some scenes were laugh-out-loud funny. I really enjoyed the scene in the pharmacy between Daly and Kashi. Other scenes made me angry, particularly one in India. And other moments had me reaching for the Kleenex box. The ending was not predictable at all! And, I was happy about that. So many books have a predictable ending…this was different and truly fit the book.

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. I may even recommend it to my book group.

Will I read it again: I will not. 


About the book – from Goodreads: 
Why does growing up have to be so difficult?

Daly English is having a harder time than most. Her future as an artist is unclear, her relationship with her mother is damaged beyond repair, and—to top it all off—her long-term boyfriend is having an affair. When Daly befriends two unlikely individuals—first a pregnant teen, and then a light-hearted charmer from India—her cynicism begins to melt away.

Meghann provides insight into Daly’s life and an endless stream of good advice, comforting Daly despite her own less fortunate position. 

Kashi proves he cares too much about Daly to let her fade into the background of her own life. After a series of false starts, their quirky romance carries them to India, where Daly must win the approval of Kashi’s family in order to seal their “forever.”

Will these friendships be enough to turn around Daly’s directionless life? Will she move past the hurt and learn to trust again? Or will her mother, once again, ruin everything she’s worked so hard to achieve?


Learn more about Torn Together or read the entire first chapter here.

About the author: Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children’s book series and is beginning to dabble in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. 


Find Ms. Chand here: webFacebook,  
TwitterGoogle+Goodreads

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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blast: To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World by Emily White


To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World
written by Emily White
published by Emily White

find it here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads
About the book: 
10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection from the author of Elemental.


Praise for To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World


“Well written and very fast paced. You won’t get bored or find your mind wandering. I’d love to see a sequel to this collection and see what happens next. I give this book five out of five donuts.”

“This book starts off dipping its toe right into the heart of the story, not unlike Ms. White’s YA novel Elemental, and the story never really slows down to a lazy pace; making it a very easy and fast read.”

“Ms. White wonderfully succeeded in instilling humor into ten short stories about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and one mad scientist. Each story is brilliantly linked. The Victorian era setting delightfully adds to the humor.”

“This is a wonderful mix of Steampunk and Horror written in Emily White’s unmistakable brilliance and style. Does it get any better than that?”




About the author: Emily White lives in NY, wedged between two of the Great Lakes and a few feet of snow and ice. She’s spent most of her life running away from the cold, and even spent a year in Iraq, but now contents herself with writing her characters into warm, exotic places in faraway galaxies. When not tapping away at her computer keys, she can be found reading, reading, and reading some more. And when she’s not doing that, she’s usually playing video games with her husband, peek-a-boo with her kids, or walking through her garden, wondering why the bugs insist on eating all her vegetables. 

Find Ms. White here: BlogFacebookTwitter, Goodreads



Also by Emily White




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

Blog Tour – Spotlight: The Fiction Writer’s Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf with a guest post

The Fiction Writer’s Handbook
written by Shelly Lowenkopf        
published by White Whisker Books

find it here: Barnes & Noble, AmazonGoodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: The Fiction Writer’s Handbook is the definitive volume to explain the words and phrases that writers and editors use when they talk about a work. In a highly competitive publishing world, today’s writers need to stay ahead of the competition and make every sentence count. This book will help new writers who need an understanding of the writing process and it’s also for seasoned writers who need inspiration. It’s a powerful tool.


Praise for The Fiction Writer’s Handbook
“Knowing how editors choose one work over so many others would give any writer an advantage. To that end, Lowenkopf, a longtime writer, editor, and educator, delivers the fiction-writing guide he has always longed for-one that can be applied to the practical goal of every aspiring writer: getting published… VERDICT: An invaluable insider’s take on what editors look for when sifting through the slush pile.” -Henrietta Thornton-Verma, Library Journal
  
“The effect is also similar to falling down a rabbit hole. To put it plainly, it’s a tool that anyone who loves to learn more about the craft of writing won’t be able to put down, an indispensable addition to any writer’s library.” –Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews
  
“Shelly Lowenkopf has cooked up literary gumbo for all writers. Once you’ve sampled it, you won’t be able to stop coming back for more.” -Ehrich Van Lowe, author of bestseller Boyfriend From Hell
  
“It’s encyclopedic in its erudition, yet as practical as a toolbox. It’s also the masterwork of a brilliant mind, which has devoted itself to its subject and its students. Finally, as Sinatra might put it, it’s simply a kick in the pants.” -Gerald Locklin, poet

The Fiction Writer’s Handbook is one of those rare reading experiences – insightful, unusually useful, and wise.” -Gayle Lynds, author of bestseller The Book of Spies


Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Shelly Lowenkopf as he is on tour with Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. He has prepared the following guest post for all of you.
Into the Rabbit Hole of Publishing

By Shelly Lowenkopf
What’s the difference between a writer and an author?

Only a matter of degree and formality, you say.  Well, chew on this for a bit:  Each time you revise a work in progress; you are learning from it and advancing your project toward its destination of being published.

Sometimes, the revision is a matter of removing extraneous and, thus, distracting material.  Other times, you’ll have noticed a gap where you might have included material helpful to advancing your story.  Yet other times, you’ll discover a better way to arrange the paragraphs and perhaps even chapters to get an impact you hadn’t seen before.

Now, you’re at a plateau where the professionals—literary agents, editors—have an acquisitive interest in your project.  Good for you.  You’re about to be published, and you’ve earned it.  Whatever your previous thoughts on the matter, now your education as a writer is about to begin.

You start by learning from your agent the nature and extent of contracts, the agreements to publish. You learn your obligations and those of your publisher.  You discover your potentials for being paid, when, and under what circumstances.

Then.  Delivered to your mailbox or your computer, a learning experience of considerable magnitude—your editor’s notes and suggestions.

I can see your response (because, at one time, I had the same one).  How can this be?  If there were so many notes and suggestions, why ever would they want to publish this work?  The answer is, in itself an education.  They saw the value and wonder of your work.  They also saw ways to make it yet more intense.

I wrote my most recent book, The Fiction Writer’s Handbook, for the same reason my literary agent and publisher took the time and effort to talk to me about its strengths and potential soft spots.  We all saw a need for such a property.  The agent persuaded me that a few things were unnecessary.  The publisher asked for three or four additions.  The project was in many ways a summary of things I’d learned in a long career of writing, editing other writers, and bringing a number of students to publication level.  Agent and publisher saw ways to tweak and enhance.  I knew the process well; I’d done it for writers over the years.  Now, as a writer, it was my turn to shut up and listen to the individuals who know what they’re doing.  Is it any less my book because I listened?  In fact, The Fiction Writer’s Handbook is more my book because I listened and responded rather than listened and argued.

So now, we’ve got the content editor’s notes and suggestions dealt with, and we’re almost ready to go.  But not quite.  Next step is the copyedit.  Most of the better book publishers in America use CMOS, the University of Chicago Manual of Style, as a usage guide.  This is so because CMOS has been almost a hundred forty years, establishing usage conventions for spelling, punctuation, abbreviations, when to use italics, and how to format captions and indexes. 

Copyediting is a mechanical process, where the goal is consistency of use.  There are similar works, used by magazines, journals, and newspapers.  Professionals know which to use and under what circumstances.  Even so, the detail-oriented eye of the copyeditor works in tandem with the dramatic sense of the content editor to make sure your work emerges with dramatic and factual depth.

When you see your copyedited manuscript, you’ll become aware of personal quirks in your work such as referring to 52nd St. with numerals and an abbreviation in one chapter, then spelling out Fifty-Second Street in the next chapter.  May not sound like a big deal until you see the entire copyediting pass on your work.  Then, you’ll be in a better position to understand why so many authors give nods to their agent, their editor, and their copyeditor in the acknowledgments.

By the time you hold the finished product in your hand, you’ll have a sense of having been a part of a skilled, professional team, all of whom have helped you articulate aspects of your project you may have at one time taken for granted or not even considered until asked.

The emerging writer often fears publication is an adversarial process.  The professional author understands the process of evolution inherent in every project.

Welcome to the club.

After a significant amount of revision, I thought I knew my latest book pretty well.  Then came the edits and copyedit, with the result that I know it even better.

About the author: Shelly Lowenkopf taught in the University of Southern California’s Master of Professional Writing Program for 34 years, has taught at the annual Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference since 1980, and has been a guest lecturer in many schools and conferences. He is currently Visiting Professor at the College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, with classes in noir fiction, the modern short story, genre fiction, and developing a literary voice. Lowenkopf has served as editorial director for literary, general trade, mass market, and scholarly book publishers, seeing over 500 books through the editorial and production process. His own short fiction has appeared widely in the literary press.

 

Find Mr. Lowenkopf here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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

GIVEAWAY!! Book Blitz: The Truth About Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore

The Truth About Letting Go
written by Leigh Talbert Moore         
published by Leigh Talbert Moore

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


About the book: Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life.
Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley’s seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear—with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart…
But Ashley’s the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Up until now, Ashley Lockett’s followed the rules. She’s always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. Then her ideal life is torn apart when her dad dies suddenly.

Now she’s miserable and furious, and she makes a vow not to believe in anything. She’s on a mission to do everything opposite of how she lived before—rejecting safety, the rules, faith…

And then she meets Jordan.

Jordan has big dreams, he’s a great kisser, and he wants to help her through her grief. He also believes in everything Ashley now claims to  hate.

Then she meets Colt. He is not safe. And he’s ready to help Ashley fulfill her mission.


Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to share this guest post by Leigh Talbert Moore about how she got the idea for The Truth About Letting Go. Enjoy!

So I started The Truth About Letting Go back in 2010 right after I finished The Truth About Faking.

It was back when Patrick Swayze got cancer and died so fast. Remember that? Well, for whatever reason, that incident started my writerly wheels turning…

I started thinking about major shocks like losing a spouse or a parent and how different people deal with trauma differently.

Some people withdraw, some people soldier on like nothing happened, and then some people get really mad and start acting out.

That’s where the story starts.

Ashley’s the daughter left behind, and in her case, her dad was a writer for a national health magazine–a modified stay-at-home dad. So they were extra-close.

Her mom withdraws into her own world of grief, her brother goes back to college, and Ashley’s left all alone, hurting and angry. And since her dad was a local celebrity, she gets to deal with her grief in front of a large audience.

She doesn’t deal very well.

She’s edgy, and she keeps having urges to break things. One reader-reviewer said she was like the female version of the bad-boy. I guess that’s a good description.

Anyway, so The Truth About Letting Go is a companion to Faking, but it’s not a sequel. The books can be read out of order. It just takes place in the same location and has some of the same characters.

About the author: Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of any great love story, a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.

Leigh’s debut novel The Truth About Faking is available now at Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksSmashwords.

Her second book, Rouge, is a mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel set in New Orleans. It’s available at Barnes & NobleAmazonSmashwords. 

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



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