Archives for May 2013

Review: Time On Fire: My Comedy of Terrors by Evan Handler (review)

Time on FireTime on Fire: My Comedy of Terrors
written by Evan Handler
published by Argo-Navis

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

Why did I pick this book: I was asked to review this book by a publicist. I readily agreed to review Mr. Handler’s book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
I did enjoy this book. While memoirs are not usually my thing, I do pick them up when I “know” the author – at least, heard of them. I don’t “know” Mr. Handler except from his appearances in Sex and the City and a brief cameo in Friends. I know his fame reaches far beyond these two instances. But his celebrity strikes an interest to see what his life is/was like. I think a lot of us are like that, we want to know about the private, personal lives of the celebrities that we watch on television, movie screen, or stage to see if they are like us – if the celebrity experiences the same things that we non-celebrities do.

What Mr. Handler went through is harrowing. It’s amazing. Who would have guessed unless you were a huge fan that already knew. I had no idea and I admire his strength and courage. I admire his will and drive to survive. If I were in the hotel in Baltimore, I would have applauded him along with the rest of the staff and patrons. (Read the book to know what I’m talking about.)

Time on Fire is a nitty-gritty telling of what Mr. Handler went through during his two bouts with leukemia. This story includes not only the actual medical treatment but how he handled and felt about the physical, emotional, relational effects of his disease. It’s a no holds barred account of having leukemia and going through treatment, setbacks, and infection along with healing, remission, and rebirth (so-to-speak).

Some of the book is quite tedious. I don’t know that I needed to know that exact details of his diagnosis and various treatments. Sometimes it was so technical that I didn’t quite follow. These parts made me not want to read every free chance I had because I had to really concentrate and absorb the information that was being given to me. However, his accounts of his reactions, his emotions, those of his family and friends were raw and true. I have no doubt that this is a true story – unembellished and real. I felt like I was sitting with Mr. Handler and hearing him tell his story as if to a friend or counselor or anyone who happened to ask with genuine interest.

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Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs and stories of other’s triumph through something very difficult to go through.

Will I read it again: I will not, but I will read his second book It’s Only Temporary.
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About the book – from Goodreads:
Based on Evan Handler’s hit off-Broadway play (called by “The New York Times” “laceratingly funny and self-revealing”), “Time on Fire” is a remarkable memoir of illness and survival, love and hope–shot through with anger, humor, and piercing eloquence.

Evan Handler was twenty-four and already an accomplished actor when he was diagnosed with acute leukemia and told that his chances for survival were slim. Resigning his role in Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues, ” Handler checked into New York Memorial’s Cancer Center and began a bizarre, sometimes uproarious five-year journey in and out of hospitals–“a raucous rump through Hell”–only to face an equally arduous return to the life he left behind.

“Time on Fire” is the story of Handler’s passage into a twilight world: a place of lonely, haunting despair lit by moments of exultation and hilarity; a world where the truly horrible and the hysterically funny not only coexist but seem to become the same thing. Told with the trenchant humor of a survivor, it takes a wry, unflinching look at the absurdity of fighting for life in a place where death is what is most expected, and a health care system on the brink of madness. It is the story of refusing to succumb to the pressures of conformity that threatened his recovery and of the fierce struggle to find the road back to health–at all costs.

From the comic accounts of his trip to a Madison Avenue sperm bank (“Nothing but the best address for my progeny”) and his experimentation with psychic healing, to the portrayal of the unraveling effects of his illness on his family and girlfriend, Handler records with astonishing precision the full emotional range of his experience. The result is a bracing, achingly poignant account of his determination to steal time and reclaim life. Glowing with uncommon insights and uncompromising honesty, “Time on Fire” is a testament to the bravery and the endurance of the human spirit.
Evan Handler

About the author: Evan Handler is beloved by millions for portraying Harry Goldenblatt, divorce-lawyer-turned-husband to Kristin Davis’s Charlotte York, on HBO’s groundbreaking series, and films, “Sex and the City”, as well as Charlie Runkle on Showtime’s current “Californication” (scheduled to begin filming its seventh season in April 2013).

In addition to authoring two highly acclaimed books, Time on Fire: My Comedy of Terrors, and It’s Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive, Evan has played leading roles in ABC’s “It’s Like, You Know . . .,” and NBC’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and made numerous memorable guest appearances on “Lost,” “The West Wing,” “Six Feet Under,” “Necessary Roughness,” and “Friends.” In 2000, Evan played Larry Fine in ABC’s TV movie “The Three Stooges.”

On the big screen, Evan played a leading role in Ron Howard’s “Ransom,” starring Mel Gibson, and featured and leading roles Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” “Taps,” “The Chosen,” and “Sweet Lorraine.”

Prior to his work in film and television, Evan earned acclaim in seven Broadway productions, all performed between his twenty-first and thirtieth birthdays, and all in spite of losing nearly five years of that span to his fight against a supposedly “incurable” leukemia. During this time Evan starred in Broadway productions of “Six Degrees of Separation,” “I Hate Hamlet,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Broadway Bound” and “Master Harold . . . and the boys.”

Evan’s first book, Time On Fire, recently reissued as an ebook for the first time (as well as paperback), details his unlikely recovery from the leukemia diagnosed in the mid-1980s. His second book, It’s Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive, has also been reissued for the first time in both paperback and ebook formats. The book describes the years since the illness, and Handler’s surprisingly circuitous journey toward gratitude, using tales of serial dating, absurd relationships, unexpected depressions, and, ultimately, lasting love and a miracle conception.

In addition to his work on the stage and screen, Handler has written for The New Yorker; Elle; O, the Oprah Magazine; USA Weekend; Mirabella, and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post.

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

 

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

 

Book Blitz: Angels of the Knights by Valerie Zambito (spotlight, giveaway)

angels of the knights 1Angels of the Knights – Fallon (Angels of the Knights #1)
written by Valerie Zambito
published by Valerie Zambito

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

About the book – from Goodreads: When Fallon Angell died at the age of sixteen, her life changed forever.

The hallowed world of Emperica is everything she had ever hoped for as a mortal—immeasurable beauty, unconditional love and light. But, with affection for humankind still burning within her, she joins the Knight Caste to train as an angel warrior. As a Knight, she will give up her wings and return to the place that killed her to use her unique powers to search out and destroy the evil Kjin that roam the earth. As a Knight, she will stop at nothing to protect the mortals in her care.

The elders warn her that the path she chose will be a solitary one. That she will not have the same bond with humans as she once did. But, as far as she knows, the elders had never met Kade Royce.

When her duties place her in the path of this handsome former cop, emotions buried long ago rise to the surface and she is powerless to ignore the depth of her feelings for this young man. She knows instinctively that she has found what most people search their entire lives for.

Ignoring the risks, she invites him into her world of danger, but soon their lives collide with explosive consequence. As a result, Fallon realizes with heartbreaking despair that she can no longer hide from the painful truth. In order for Kade to live, she must destroy him.

 

angels of the 2Angels of the Knights – Blane (Angels of the Knights #2)
written by Valerie Zambito
published by Valerie Zambito

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Once the hunter, now the hunted. As the war with the Kjin rages, Blane Romero must lead the Paladin Knights against their mortal enemy while trying to protect the young, Juliet Hunter, who unwittingly finds herself entangled in their sinister schemes. Juliet cares only about shielding her young sisters from harm, but finds herself drawn to the enigmatic man who offers her much more than either he or she was prepared for.

Ostracized by the families they loved, Blane and Juliet find they have more in common than they thought as they battle demons both real and personal to stay together. But, will it be enough when the powerful Cesar Grant decides he wants Juliet for his own?

Book Two in the Angels of the Knights paranormal fantasy series.

valerie zambitoAbout the author: I am Valerie Zambito, and I live in upstate New York with my husband and three sons. After having been involved in a busy sales career for fifteen years, a great love of world building, character creation, and all things magic led to the publication of my first adult epic fantasy series, Island Shifters, in October of 2011. Since then, I have added two additional books to this series and wrote the first book in a new teen paranormal series called Angels of the Knights.

My reading preference is fantasy as well and I devour in copious amounts. In my opinion, there’s nothing like it! Great fantasy grants us entry into a world beyond our own that is filled with adventure, mystery and danger. How exciting to enjoy a front row seat to human struggles of epic proportions. Struggles that tug at our heartstrings and elicit real emotion.

I gravitate to fantasy with heroic elements. I like strong, confident men who never back down from a fight against evil. The kind who will not hesitate to throw himself between a woman and a fire-breathing dragon. I like strong women, too. The kind who will appreciate the offer, but is more inclined to push the man out of the way and take care of the dragon herself. 😉

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

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win print or eBook copies of book 1 and 2 plus a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

 

Review: You Know Your Way Home by Suzanne Jauchius (review)

You Know Your Way Home
written by Suzanne Jauchius
published by Bree Noa Publishing Co.

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks (audiobook), Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked to review this book by the publisher. Melissa thought it sounded interesting and decided to read it. (She received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it.

Jauchius’s story is lovely.  She writes of a rageaholic mother without bitterness, failed marriages without regret, and personal failings without shame.  The strength she acquires on her journey vibrates out of the pages, and it’s strangely comforting to know that despite her nontraditional skills she works just as hard as the rest of us to achieve her goals.  Jauchius’s ability to tell her tale without revealing every sordid detail is refreshing, and though there are a few things I still want to know, my respect for her privacy makes me glad she left them out.  You Know Your Way Home is a lovely little book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Would I recommend it: Yes, definitely.  I loved following Suzanne’s path, and even if you’re not convinced she’s actually a psychic, you’ll enjoy the way she shares her life.

Will I read it again: You know how I feel about reading books twice. This one, though?  …I’d consider it.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
A true story about a woman with 5 husbands, secretly chasing killers and missing people, until she collides with a brash mystery man, an abrupt therapist in a padded room and a revered Lakota medicine man.

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Blog Tour: 24 Bones by Michael F. Stewart (spotlight, giveaway)

24 bones24 Bones
written by Michael F. Stewart
published by Non Sequitur Press

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

About the book: Every five hundred years the phoenix dies.

Samiya, born-into-shadow, is soon to battle her born-into-light brother. Abandoned by their parents, neither wishes to play the preordained role of beast and hero. When their loved ones are taken hostage, they are forced to follow the path laid out in myth, culminating in a battle first fought six thousand years ago in ancient Cairo. A mythic clash where one defeats the other and both become gods.

To break free from their fates, Samiya and her brother must unravel a mystery twisted by cults, greed, and magic. But myth is a powerful force and failure to live up to it may not only destroy their lives but the lives of the ones they love most.

When the phoenix dies, the only certainty is flames. 

michael stewart

About the author: After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.
Find Mr. Stewart here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

24 bones banner

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash and an eBook copy of 24 Bones!!

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

 

Review: Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

Knit Two
written by Kate Jacobs
published by Putnam Adult

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

Why did I pick this book: This was the pick for my book group for January.

Did I enjoy this book: It was okay. I thought Knit Two was kind of boring. It took me a long time to finish this book. I just didn’t care if I picked it up and continued reading it.

I found Knit Two to be confusing because of the changing of perspectives. There are a lot of characters and the transitions between whose story was being told was not always clear. Not all of the characters were that sympathetic. I just did not care about them. James was too overprotective and worried about appearances. He needed to let Dakota live and choose her own path in life. She seems like an exceptional baker, so why not allow her to go to culinary school? And what was the big deal with her being an au pair for her friend’s daughter? That was a chance of a lifetime…a summer in Italy! James was just too sensitive.

I did like Darwin’s transformation. She seemed to take to motherhood fairly easily. I also liked that she finally asked for help and accepted it. And she really got into knitting. She was probably my favorite character.

The book started to move for me once the story shifted to Italy. From that point on, I wanted to see how it ended. I cared about the characters a bit more at this point. It kept me interested. I did enjoy the ending. Some of the characters redeemed themselves and became a bit more likable in my eyes.

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Would I recommend it: Only if you read the first book, The Friday Night Knitting Club (see my review here), and you really want to know what happens to these ladies.

Will I read it again: I will not.

chrissysig
About the book – from Goodreads: The sequel to the number-one New York Times bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club, KNIT TWO returns to Walker and Daughter, the Manhattan knitting store founded by Georgia Walker and her young daughter, Dakota. Dakota is now an eighteen-year-old freshman at NYU, running the little yarn shop part-time with help from the members of the Friday Night Knitting Club.

Drawn together by the sense of family the club has created, the knitters rely on one another as they struggle with new challenges: for Catherine, finding love after divorce; for Darwin, the hope for a family; for Lucie, being both a single mom and a caregiver for her elderly mother; and for seventy something Anita, a proposal of marriage from her sweetheart, Marty, that provokes the objections of her grown children.

As the club’s projects – an afghan, baby booties, a wedding coat – are pieced together, so is their understanding of the patterns underlying the stresses and joys of being mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Because it isn’t the difficulty of the garment that makes you a great knitter: it’s the care and attention you bring to the craft – as well as how you adapt to surprises.

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

Please welcome, Melissa!!! (interview, giveaway)

Hello Everyone!

You may have noticed a new reviewer appearing here and there over the last few months. Well, I would like to formally introduce you to my new associate reviewer – and sister-in-law – Melissa!!! You can check out her official bio here.

Tell our lovely readers and followers a bit about yourself.

Before my son was born I worked as a behavior analyst – I created and implemented curriculums for special needs students (mostly kiddos on the autism spectrum).  I still do research and coursework to keep up with my BCaBA certification, but since I became a Mom I’ve been spending the bulk of my days (and nights) raising my wonderfully rambunctious little boy.

I love shiraz and paneer, but not necessarily together, and I drink my coffee black.  I recently became a vegetarian, I’m addicted to my Fitbit, and I absolutely adore watching my husband play with our son.  I hate shoes.  I  have two cats. Umm…  wow, this is harder than I thought!  I have four tattoos and plans for at least two more.  I live on the tenth floor and use one of those old lady shopping cart thingies to get my groceries upstairs.  I’m especially sexy looking when I push the cart while wearing the baby in his sling.  I can’t believe no one stops me on the street to tell me how beautiful I am with my granny cart pushing baby wearing self.   Seriously.  It’s breathtaking.  

What genres do you enjoy reading the most?

My two favorite genres are memoirs and sci-fi/fantasy, but I’ll give any book a hundred pages to convince me to keep reading.

What is your favorite book, if you have one?

My favorite book is Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson.  I have my mother’s copy of the book – she read it in college – and I try to read it once a year.  I still cry every time.

What would you like our readers and authors to know about your review style?

I spent a few years teaching engineering students how to write research papers, which essentially means I taught the art of writing at its most basic: organization, consistency, grammar.  Trying to write without mastery of language is like trying to cook without pots and pans: you might end up with something edible, but everyone knows that microwaved pizza tastes like cardboard. If an author puts a book up for review, at the very least it ought to be grammatically and organizationally proficient (and if it’s not, you better believe I’m going to let you know).  I think good writing shows without telling, and I think every writer should read their work aloud, a page at a time, at least a dozen times.  At least.

What was your initial reaction when I first asked you to review a book for my blog?

I’d never written a book review before, and you seemed to be having so much fun with Every Free Chance that I wanted in on the action.  Of course I agreed!

What was your reaction when I asked you to be a regular reviewer?

I wish I would have played hard to get — I heard you were going to woo me with a bottle of wine if I was reluctant — but I was super excited.  I’m pretty sure I agreed to do it before you even finished asking (don’t tell my husband, though… I never actually said “yes” when he proposed…).

You’ve been reviewing with me for a few months now and are starting to appear regularly (It will be even more consistent in the upcoming months.) What do you think of book reviewing so far?

I like it!  I have more deadlines than I did at my last job, but it’s tough to beat a job you can do in your pj’s.  I worked as a writing tutor several years ago and absolutely adored it, and book reviewing is similar in all the right ways.

What are you looking forward to on this blogging adventure?

I’m excited to read more memoirs – it’s such an eclectic genre, and one I didn’t know how much I loved until I started working at Every Free Chance.

Oh, and just for the record – I really DO like some books, I promise!  Maybe I’ll even give a book five stars some day.  Maybe…

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To celebrate Melissa joining Every Free Chance Book Reviews, I’ve decided to host a giveaway! That’s right, I’m giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, a $5 gift card to Starbucks, and a paperback copy of Bridge to Terabithia (Melissa’s favorite book!). Just fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win!

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

 

Blog Tour: Earth Angel by E. Van Lowe (spotlight, interview, giveaway)

earth angel banner
earth angelEarth Angel (Falling Angels #2)
written by E. Van Lowe
published by White Whisker Books

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Just because Megan Barnett recently defeated Satan, has a fantastic new best friend, and has won the love of deliciously
handsome, Guy Matson, doesn’t mean her troubles are over. Far from it. For Megan doesn’t realize it, but in her possession is a powerful weapon, a weapon sought after by both angels and demons and everything in between. They will do ANYTHING to get it.

In E. Van Lowe’s humorous, romantic and thrilling sequel to Boyfriend From Hell, Megan winds up in a gripping life or death battle to save herself, the boy she loves, and all of mankind from unthinkable evil.

 

Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome E. Van Lowe, author of Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel, and his cover artist, Adara Rosalie, to the blog today. They have answered the some questions for all of you.

Ever since the first book in the Falling Angles Saga was published, so many people have asked me “who does your book covers? They’re gorgeous!” Today I’m unveiling my secret weapon. I’d like everyone to meet the woman who created and designed the covers for Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel, my new friend Jayde, also known as Adara Rosalie. First a brief bio.

Known as Adara Rosalie, Jayde, is a self-taught digital artist living in the Sydney Region of New South Wales, Australia. Her works bring forth the beauty in the dark, strange and Gothic. Her images are beautifully rendered, with a blend of photo manipulation and digital painting, showing a natural talent for creating new and fantastic visual artworks that are original in concept.

Fast becoming sought after for her particular style, Adara has been commissioned for the design of a number of CD covers, promotional displays, and book covers.
She has also been featured in magazines such as Advanced Photoshop (Issue 81), won a number of awards on artist community websites (thanks to all her supporters, whom bolster and strengthen her and her art with their wonderful comments) and a variety of other wonderful things that are to be confirmed in the near future (including publication in a digital book by Quarto Publishing Ltd.).

Jayde currently lives at home with her family and her puppy-dog, Constantine, but has recently made another big change in her life by purchasing her first home with her partner, Michael.

1) Hi Jayde. Thanks for stopping by. I noticed when I first saw your work that you have an eye for making things pretty using Photoshop. Where does this gift come from?

I am an only child so developed a vivid imagination at an early age that developed in later years into a passion for visual arts. It was not until I enrolled into a visual arts diploma at TAFE (tertiary educational institution) that I was introduced to Photoshop in one of the core units. I was instantly captivated with the program (if a little over whelmed at first by all the tools and features) and branched out in my spare time in researching tutorials and practicing with it until I understood all aspects of the program. If I was unsure how to create an effect I took the initiative to contact other artists to ask their advice, or if available, discuss techniques with my teachers.

Every artist develops their own individual artist practice and finds inspiration in a variety of ways (music, TV, movies, life experiences, appropriation of concepts, history, mythology, culture or subculture). I find my inspiration from my love of Gothic subcultures, mythology, fables and life experiences.

I was not always as proficient with Photoshop. My first works are devoid of finesse and were very raw. I did not have the knowledge to create special effects or produce professional quality images. It is only with hours and hours of practice that I was able to create high quality images that were visual representations of my imagination.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I have been subject to High School Bullying because I came from a low income household and saw things differently from others. In year 12 , I found the body of my Uncle who had committed suicide. In spite of this trauma I continued on to complete year 12 and receive my High School Certificate. It was through the support and care of my teachers and family that helped me to succeed.

I had to put off enrolling into university, and had to enter the work force to be able to pay household living costs. I waited 5 years before my family was financially stable, I took a leap of faith and quit my job, and enrolled into a diploma of visual arts course that ran for 2 years. It was in those two years at Tafe, working and developing my skills, that I discovered that working in an office as a paper pusher was not a career that makes me happy. In my last year of Tafe, I applied to the Australian Catholic University to enroll into a Bachelor of Teaching/ Bachelor of Visual Arts, and to my utter delight was accepted. I was a mature aged student. My education comes first. It is the basis for a career that I love and a solid income.

In the meantime it I have been working with digital art, and following my personal dreams of becoming a well-known artist and book cover designer. It has taken me 5 years to build my artist portfolio, reputation and network. I am continually reaching new heights and have never been happier with my life and choices.

The Falling Angels Saga covers are really gorgeous. How hard was it to come with the design? How hard was it working with E? (Be honest)

Thank you! I was truly honored and blessed to be able to work with E. (and not only because I grew up with the Cosby Show)! Working on any commission for a client has its ups and downs, it is the most difficult thing to be able to take what another individual envisions and try to create a visual image. I have worked with a variety of clientele and found that E. was one of the most pleasurable and easiest clients to work with.

E. provided me with an outline, or suggestion, on the type of images that he envisioned and gave me creative license to work within my own imaginative and artistic capabilities. This provided me with the freedom to work WITH E. on creating the perfect cover.

6) Whats your favorite project you ever worked on? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite project, but if I had to choose, I would say working with E. on his book covers. I love being able to develop freely, creating new works of art that reach out and capture the imagination of people. I think that the act of creating, in itself, is a wonderful gift and I love every moment that I have creating.

7) What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Hmmnnn, guilty pleasures… I love pepperoni pizza! I know that it is not healthy, but so yummy! And I am a HUGE fan of Family Guy.

8) Where can fans find you on the web?

My works of art can be found in a variety of places. I have many artist portfolios, and am a member of a few sites where prints, posters and iPhone cases can be purchased of my work.

Redbubble:http://www.redbubble.com/people/jayderosalie

Deviant Art: http://jayderosalie.deviantart.com/

Advanced Photoshop UK: http://www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/adararosalie

The Untapped Source: http://www.theuntappedsource.com/artist_detail.php?category=344

Art Flakes: http://www.artflakes.com/en/shop/adararosalie

Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/adararosalie/

Shadowness: http://shadowness.com/Jayde

Thanks for stopping by, Jayde. For those of you who haven’t read Boyfriend From Hell , Earth Angel or Heaven Sent, judging from the reviews, what’s between the covers is pretty good, too.  I hope you’ll check them out.

e van lowe

About the author: E. Van Lowe was born in the Bronx a long time ago, back in the days when children were supposed to be seen and not heard. Fortunately for E, his parents allowed him to speak freely. Unfortunately for his parents and older brother, E had a lot to say. He was speaking quite freely until one day, while his mother was trying to watch her “stories” (which is code for soap operas), she suggested that instead of speaking freely, he write all his important thoughts down. E wrote down many important thoughts, such as: crayons melt when you leave them on the radiator, or toy soldiers melt when you drop them in the muffin batter before mom puts it in the oven. His brother thought he was weird, but E was only ten years old at the time. What did he expect, Shakespeare? E liked writing things down so much, he decided that when he grew up, he was going to become a professional writer.

E has gone on to write for many award winning TV shows including: The Cosby Show, and Even Stevens. He also co-wrote the Academy Award nominated short film, Cadillac Dreams. Never Slow Dance With A Zombie was his first teen novel.  Boyfriend From Hell is the first in the Falling Angels Saga.  The second novel in the saga, Earth Angel, will be coming out soon.  It seems E still has lots of important, and weird, thoughts to share with readers.

Find Mr. Van Lowe here: WebsiteBlogGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win an eBook copy of Boyfriend from Hell and Earth Angel!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Spotlight: Grains of Truth by Lydia Crichton (spotlight, guest post, giveaway)

Grains of Truth
written by Lydia Crichton
published by Barringer Publishing/Schlesinger Advertising

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When rigid pacifist Julia Grant is manipulated by U.S. Intelligence to take part in a covert mission in Egypt to help foil a major terrorist plot, she is torn between saving lives and becoming a pawn in her government’s political agenda. But her troubles don’t end there. As her mission unfolds, Julia finds her heart torn between a married Egyptologist and a very charismatic arms dealer with a questionable past. Complications ensue and when her contacts die along the Nile, and Julia realizes that she has become the center of a deadly plot, spun by passion, intrigue, and the clashing of radically diverse cultures and beliefs, including her own.

Praise for Grains of Truth.

 

“GRAINS OF TRUTH is a taut, well-written, action packed story – an intelligent romantic thriller that never loses its focus as a high entertainment story.” ––Larry Myles, Red Inkworks

 

“Unique characters and high drama combine in this well-written, action-packed story of counterterrorism and espionage.” –– Foreword Reviews

 

Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Lydia Crichton, author of Grains of Truth, to the blog today. She has prepared the following guest post for all of you.

 

Inspiration for Grains of Truth

by Lydia Crichton

 

Egypt. Land of the pharaohs. Land of mystery. Who hasn’t dreamed of the ancient Pyramids? Of the exotic treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb? Of floating down the Nile on a sumptuous barge with Cleopatra’s court? Well, I sure have. From a young age and through the years, striking images of slender, graceful people in gossamer linen garb bedecked with dazzling jewels fired my imagination. Who were these people? How had they achieved so much—in architecture, literature, agriculture—and managed to maintain their advanced civilization for thousands of years? By the time Mysteries of Egypt, an IMAX film featuring Omar Sharif came along (I saw it at least a dozen times) the die was cast. Sitting mesmerized beneath a larger than life domed-screened chronicle of one of the most fascinating civilizations ever known made it clear: to Egypt I must go.

Before the trip could be arranged, the horrifying events of September 11th shocked the world. The inexplicable tragedies of that day touched something deep within my soul. I kept asking myself: Would this have happened if we Americans had been paying more attention? Cared a little bit more about what was happening in the rest of the world? And maybe troubled ourselves to call our government to account for its actions on the global stage? These hard questions led me to take a sabbatical and took me on a journey—both physical and spiritual—to previously unexplored territories.

What I found in Egypt was a startling dichotomy. The glorious ancient past, so fundamental to the country’s all important industry of tourism, struggled to hold its head high in the midst of a corrupt and often infuriating patriarchal society under the thumb of a decades-old authoritarian government. Trouble was brewing there, palpable trouble. Anyone who opened their eyes to the frustration of a long oppressed society and listened to the rumbling thunder of discontent growing louder, coming closer, could see that something was bound to happen, and soon. A profound quotation I’d come across kept ringing in my ears: “The prerequisite of political stability is social justice, for it is in the nature of things that injustice will not endure.”

On that first trip I made friends. I learned a little about what life was like for the Egyptian people. Again, the contrasts were sharp…and severe. As with many “developing countries,” life in the major cities was a struggle for even the most educated. In the countryside, the people were heartbreakingly poor, living much as they had for thousands of years. Children laughed and ran barefoot in the dust, yet often died at an early age of some completely preventable condition or disease. Grim faced women, old beyond their years and resigned to their fate, toiled long hours to tend to their ever-expanding families. The patriarchs, secure in their unquestioned role as the “dominate male,” spent endless hours discussing politics while smoking hookahs in the company of other men.

In Egypt I saw and heard first hand how the actions and policies of my country’s government had affected the lives of millions—sometimes to their benefit, often not. Much—if not most—of the billions of dollars in aid from American taxpayers intended to improve the lives of the underserved ended up lining the pockets of powerful politicians and the all-mighty military. This knowledge stoked the fire of my need to know more. When I returned to California, such a completely different world away, those thoughts and images continued to dominate my mind, holding me hostage to the need to learn more. So I went back, again and again. Each time I returned home to recount my experiences to friends, they would say, “You should write a book.” When I finally sat down to record my thoughts—recalling my experiences as well as those of others I had met in Egypt from around the globe—almost immediately the fictional story began to emerge, clamoring to be told. The richness…the complexities…the harsh realities of life in Egypt insisted that—as fiction—the story could reveal so much more…entertain so much more. And, hopefully, appeal to a broader audience. Yes, Grains of Truth is fiction, meant first and foremost to entertain. But the story was inspired by real people and real world issues…things that we should all care a bit more about, for the sake of others as well as our own.

 

About the author: A native Texan, Lydia has enjoyed a twenty-plus year career in marketing and fundraising for nonprofit organizations in major cities across the United States. Extensive international travel furthered her education in many invaluable and unexpected ways. On a trip to Egypt in 2002, poignant experiences led her to discover a passion for telling stories that entertain as they explore complex and controversial social and political issues. She currently lives in California’s Napa Valley—the inspiration for a second book woven around the shambles of illegal immigration in the U.S.—and has recently completed the third book in the Julia Grant series.

Find Ms. Crichton here: web, Goodreads

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win 1 of 2 hard copies of Grains of Truth!!

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

 

Book Blast: Above Rubies by Jaclyn M. Hawkes (spotlight, giveaway)

above rubies tour

Tour Schedule

above rubies
Above Rubies
written by Jaclyn M. Hawkes
published by Spirit Dance Books, LLC

find it here: Amazon, SmashwordsGoodreads

About the book: His chivalry was strangling her.
He thought he was helping her—and in truth, he was. She was in desperate straits. But as honorable as he was, he was also breaking her heart.
Her attraction was drowning him.
When World Champion rodeo cowboy Rossen Rockland and his friends rescue a young runaway who has been abused by her foster father and take her home to his parents’ ranch, he expects her to turn out to be a pain in the neck. And sometimes she is.
It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she has way more than her allotment of troubles—and far more than her share of gifts. Lovely, talented, and ravingly brilliant, Kit Star is too young, unbelievably humble, and oh, so loveable. Knowing that she needs his protection and time to grow into her potential, Rossen also figures out that what she really is, is a pain in the heart.
Watch for more of the Rockland Ranch Series!

 

Praise for Above Rubies

I absolutely could not put this book down. It had me laughing, crying, angry and pretty much every other emotion. I can not wait for the next one in the series to come out. Keep them coming!!! ~Addicted to Books

This is the second book in the Rockland Ranch Romance Series. It can be read as a stand alone or copies of Peace River can be supplied if you would also like to review it.

 

peace riverPeace River (Book 1)

find it here: Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads

About the book: The police didn’t understand the danger, but she did. Her father had always been abusive, but now, with a ten million dollar Thoroughbred farm on the line, and a powerful bookie leaning on him, her father had become out of control. But how do you get away and take a world famous stallion with you? Carrie was getting desperate when a handsome and honorable but thoroughly cynical rodeo cowboy from Wyoming happened to show up with a horse trailer. He didn’t ride a white horse, but he was definitely a knight in shining armor.

He’ll protect her from the mob, but can she survive falling in love with a bull rider?

 

Praise for Peace River

“Give me a clean romance, humor and a good looking cowboy and I’m a happy girl. LDS fiction isn’t always my favorite but I really enjoyed the characters and adventure in this book.” ~Carol – Goodreads

“There was plenty of action, adventure and danger to keep me guessing just how everything was going to turn out. I didn’t want to put it down until I finished! Jaclyn Hawkes is one of my favorite LDS romance authors. You really can’t go wrong with any of her books that you pick up!” ~Cathy -Goodreads

 

jaclyn

About the author: Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.
Find Ms. Hawkes here: Website, Goodreads

 

And now for the Book Blast Giveaway!! Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

(Ends June 11, 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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $50 US.

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

Blog Tour: Identity Break by Stifyn Emrys (spotlight)

Identity Break
written by Stifyn Emrys
published by CreateSpace

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Mr. Emrys is on tour with CLP Blog Tours

About the book – from Goodreads: How far would you go to find yourself?

Imagine everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, and you didn’t know who was telling the truth. Imagine you possessed a secret so dangerous that, if it were exposed, it would reshape the entire world.
What would you do if that secret were your very identity?

In almost every way, Palo Vista seems like a typical California city, with office buildings, schools, and homes sprawled out across suburbia, filled with families making a life for themselves at the dawn of the new millennium.

But two seniors at Mt. MacMurray High are about to find out that nothing is as it seems. Jason Nix is a star athlete and honors student who can’t seem to remember anything about his childhood. Elyse Van Auten is a budding artist from a broken home whose father left her mother two years ago – or so she’s been led to believe.

Like most teens entering adulthood, Elyse and Jason just want to find out who they really are. For them, however, the stakes go far beyond their own personal quest. Join them on a journey of self-discovery that becomes a desperate fight for survival against enemies determined to conceal the truth … and find out what happens when that fight becomes personal.

The first installment of a new science fiction/adventure series for young adult, adult and new adult readers. Full of action, twists and surprises.


About the author: Stifyn Emrys is a journalist and educator who has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language. He has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects, and his first book, The Gospel of the Phoenix, was published in the summer of 2012. He has published four other books, including three non-fiction works and the children’s fairy tale Feathercap. Identity Break is his first novel. He lives on California’s Central Coast with his wife (also an author), stepson, cat and dog.

Find Mr. Emrys here: blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn

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