Archives for May 2013

Blog Tour: Emanicapting Andie by Priscilla Glen (review, giveaway)

EmancipatingAndie amazonEmancipating Andie
written by Priscilla Glenn
published by Priscilla Glenn

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. It was a sweet read that I read every free chance I had.

Andie is your typical straight-laced main character. She doesn’t deviate from the plan. She doesn’t stray off the course. She has a path and she stays on it. That is until she meets Chase, the typical bad-boy, I don’t care what anyone else thinks character. And we have Colin, the sweet, predictable, safe boyfriend.

These three characters make up a sweet story that was enjoyable to read. The two main characters have pasts that I wouldn’t have guessed. I won’t go into details but their back stories were unexpected to me but those pasts really helped develop these individuals into who they are today. It just goes to show that you never know who a person really is until you get to know them and what they have been through. The old “walk a mile in their shoes” adage comes to mind as well.

I loved Chase. He wants to continue to be the bad guy but you know he really isn’t. Chase is trying not to be the person his father always said her was. Andie is sweet but guarded. Her past is no laughing matter. She has dealt with this amazingly well. These two should not go together. But a road trip to Florida forces each of them to learn a lot about each other and themselves.

everyfree3.5

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book if you like easy reads with an engaging story.

Will I read it again: I will not.

chrissysig

About the book: 
Ever since the one time Andie Weber threw caution to the wind – and paid the price for it – she’s learned that it’s safer and smarter to live life playing by the rules. Now she’s got a great apartment, a steady job, and a wonderful boyfriend in Colin; he’s sweet, stable, and essentially perfect – except maybe for the fact that his best friend is Chase.

Chase McGuire lives his carefree, unstructured life strictly for himself. Dripping sarcasm and oozing wit, he refuses to censor his feelings or opinions for anyone, making no apologies for either and wearing his abrasiveness like a badge of honor. No one has ever gotten under Andie’s skin the way Chase does – and vice versa.

So when Andie and Chase find themselves forced to take a two-day road trip together, they are already dreading an inevitable all-out war. But as the trip progresses, and the undeniable friction that has always defined their relationship slowly begins to wear away their preconceived notions of each other, Andie and Chase discover they both have a lot to learn about life, courage, happiness, and the age-old battle between logic and lov.
Priscilla Glenn

About the author: Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English Language Arts at the middle and high school levels for the past eleven years while moonlighting as a writer, mommy, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer.
If you catch her when she’s feeling sophisticated, she’ll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she’ll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry’s, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson.

Emancipating Andie is Glenn’s second novel. She is also the author of the contemporary romance/young adult crossover, Back to You.


Find Ms. Glenn here: 
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win one of two print copies of Emancipating Andie.

(Open US/Canada only)

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

 

Release Day Launch: The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy (spotlight, giveaway)

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The Hazards of Skinny Dipping. Medium

 

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping
written by Alyssa Rose Ivy
published by Alyssa Rose Ivy

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

About the book: This isn’t a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I’d be happy to recommend one, but I don’t have that kind of story to tell. Instead, my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It’s the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it’s also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along.
Alyssa

About the author: Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Find Ms. Ivy here: Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, web

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a copy of The Hazards of Skinny Dipping plus some awesome swag!

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

 

Blog Tour: Chronicle of the Mound Builders by Elle Marie (spotlight, excerpt, guest post, giveaway)

Chronicle of the Mound Builders
written by Elle Marie
published by CreateSpace

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.

In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.

Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?

 

Please enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 23 of Chronicle of the Mound Builders.

Dr. Oettendorf sat at the ancient, chipped desk, tapping his pen impatiently as his students turned in their test papers one by one. He could tell by their expressions if they had done well or poorly. He was surprised at the number of glum faces. He hadn’t thought it was an especially difficult test.

He was anxious to get back to the dig and see the progress his assistants had made. When the bell finally rang, he grabbed the stack of exams and hurried to his car.

At the park, Adam was squatting near the skeleton, brushing away dirt. Tonya was nowhere to be seen.

Adam looked up as the professor approached.

“Hi, Dr. O.!” he called. “Let me show you what I’m working on. I think you’ll find this interesting.”

He scooted back to reveal the objects he had uncovered. Next to the original skeleton was a smaller one. A rib cage was exposed, as well as four legs and a tail.

Franklin peered at the new find.

“Good work, Adam,” he said. “These bones must be part of a dog’s skeleton.”

“Is this unusual?” asked the freckled graduate student. “Did the Mound Builders bury animals with their dead?”

“It was a fairly common practice,” replied the professor. “A dog would be buried next to its master with its head facing west, as this one is. The Indians believed the dog would guide the man’s soul to the spirit world and protect him.”

“Crazy!”

Dr. Oettendorf paced around the burial grounds, his hands clenched behind his back.

“Something’s bothering me about this,” he said. “Usually bodies were left on high platforms for the weather and animals to clean the flesh off the bones.”

“Sounds barbaric.”

“But efficient. The bare bones were cremated in a charnel house, then the charnel house itself was burned and a mound was built over the remains. Artifacts were often buried with the cremated remains, as well as dogs.”

The professor stopped pacing and pointed to the human skeleton.

“But in this burial mound, the man’s skeleton was found intact with its feet towards the east, arms crossed over the chest. It appears the body was wrapped in a reed mat. There are no signs of burning or animal tooth marks. Very unusual.”

“It looks like some type of ceremonial burial,” suggested Adam.

“Yes, obviously,” said Dr. Oettendorf irritably. “The man didn’t just drop dead in his tracks and fall into this position.” 

Sorry for trying to help, thought the graduate student. What a grouch!

“Adam, please continue your work. I need to meet with Major Benton. I’ll be back in a few hours.”

Dr. Oettendorf turned and left abruptly, leaving Adam shaking his head in confusion. He’s so anxious to make progress but he never sticks around for long. And where the hell is Tonya?

Every Free Chance Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Elle Marie, author of Chronicle of the Mound Builder, to the blog today. She is on tour with CLP Blog Tours and has prepared the following guest post for all of you.

 
Switching gears from nonfiction to fiction was a pretty big deal to me. First of all, I love writing nonfiction. It’s fun and easy. I’ve written technical articles and reports for my ‘real’ job for over 30 years, so I feel very comfortable with factual, nonfiction writing. Just pick a topic you know something about, organize your thoughts, and then start writing. Of course there’s more to it than that. Additional research is always needed, even if you’re an expert in your field.

I wrote my first nonfiction book, Living the Thin Life, to tell my story of losing weight and keeping it off for over 10 years (so far!). The research I did was mainly interviewing lots of people to find out their success stories to add to the techniques that had worked for me. All the great information they gave me helped shape the direction of the book. It evolved from a personal story into a blueprint for people to follow for creating their own personalized weight maintenance plans. I invented a fun quiz so readers could find out their eating personalities to guide them in selecting the techniques that would work best for them. I also did a lot of research to find effective exercise and motivation strategies, choosing the most relevant and interesting information to include in my book.

Writing Living the Thin Life was a great experience, but then I decided to turn to fiction. I’d always wanted to write a novel and actually made a few half-hearted attempts over the years, but didn’t get serious about it until I got the idea for Chronicle of the Mound Builders. After reading a newspaper article about a real dig site near my home, I decided to write a mystery about how the Cahokian Mound Builders vanished centuries ago. The ideas started flowing – I created a family from the 1300s and followed their journey to Cahokia, their struggles in building a life there, and their witnessing the final destruction of the civilization. At the same time, I developed a story line about a modern archaeologist uncovering clues and gradually unraveling the mystery to discover what really happened to the Mound Builders – and running into some difficulties herself along the way. Now that I had a concept and a rough outline, I was ready to start.

In some ways writing fiction and nonfiction are similar, at least for me. I was surprised to realize that fiction required a lot of research, too. For Living the Thin Life, I researched articles and books about weight loss, exercise, and motivation. For Chronicle, I researched things as varied as Native American tattoos, Aztec symbols, how to escape if you’re trapped in a cave, and how to make paper from deerskin. Before writing a scene, I made sure I’d done all the research so I could make it as realistic as possible. An example is when I had to describe a bear attack. I’ve never been attacked by a bear, so I researched actual attacks and learned quite a lot. Did you know that bears will typically try to bite the head of their victim? This is because the biggest danger for them comes from the victim’s teeth – their strongest weapon. If the head and fangs are immobilized, the bear can easily deal with legs and claws. Once I learned that, I worked it into my scene. I learned a lot more about bear attacks than I ever wanted to know!

There is also a very different thought process when writing fiction. For technical or nonfiction works, it’s important to have your facts straight and not deviate from the strict truth. But with fiction, you have the freedom to let your imagination run wild and come up with your own ‘truth’. The characters and scenes played out inside my head, and my job was to capture the action and dialogue and put them down on paper (or computer).

Although writing a novel was hard work, for me much harder than nonfiction, in the end I found it very fulfilling. I can’t wait to get started on my next book!


About the author: Elle Marie started writing at the urging of her husband, who always believed she was destined to be an author. After first publishing a nonfiction book, Living the Thin Life, she turned to fiction.

A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14thcentury? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together.
By day, Elle works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.

Find Ms. Marie here: web, Goodreads

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

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

 

Book Blitz: The Boy Next Door by Annabelle Costa (spotlight, excerpt)

The Boy Next Door
written by Annabelle Costa
published by Dev Love Press

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

About the book: Through middle school, high school, bad dates, and an ill-advised punk phase, Tasha has always been able to count on Jason. Since the day he moved in next door, he’s gone from the weird kid in a wheelchair to Tasha’s most trusted friend. But lives change and the friends are going in different directions. When Jason and Tasha rekindle their friendship, sparks fly. After years of being a wild soul, now the ex-lead of a band turned music teacher is just looking for a relationship to last.

When none other than Jason introduces her to a man who can give her what she wants, Tasha is on the verge of throwing passion and love away just so she can forget her troubled past and settle down. But Jason isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

Please enjoy the following excerpt from The Boy Next Door.

I wasn’t too happy when my parents told me that I had to try to make friends with the crippled kid who just moved in next door.

I was eight years old. For my entire life thus far, living in a suburb of Pittsburgh, our next-door neighbor was an ornery old woman named Agnes. Why are all old people named Agnes, for some reason? Not that I’m prejudiced against old people or anything. My grandmother, Nana, lived with us and was never an ornery old woman, and probably still the best cook I’ve ever known. Anyway, Agnes failed to wake up one morning, and the house got sold off to a young family with two kids.

I was initially really psyched to find out that the family had two kids, one of whom was allegedly my age. I pictured a girl with blond pigtails who would be my best friend, and we’d make each other friendship bracelets, have sleepovers, and all that fun stuff.

But then my fantasy was crushed when I found out that my new eight-year-old neighbor was a boy. And not just a boy. A boy in a wheelchair.

His name was Jason and I saw him a few times from afar. He went to a different school than I did, and there was a special school bus that picked him up. I saw him waiting with his parents at the curb for the special bus, which was about half the length of the bus that picked me up. My parents told me it was a bus for disabled kids. When it arrived, a ramp would be lowered mechanically and Jason would wheel into it, and the driver would help him get arranged in the bus. My mother yelled at me not to stare, but how could I not stare?

When the Foxes had been living next door for a few weeks, we came over for a visit and to bring them a welcome basket.

My little sister Lydia and I were dressed up in uncomfortable pink clothes, and I was firmly instructed to play with Jason. Lydia, who was only four, was totally off the hook since the older Fox child was a 13-year-old boy.

“I don’t want to play with Jason,” I whined, as my mother did up the buttons on my dress. “He’s weird.”

“Oh, stop it,” my mother said. “He’s not weird.”

“He’s in a wheelchair,” I pointed out.

“Don’t you dare mention that,” my mother snapped.

“Why not?” spoke up my Nana, who was listening in. “I’m sure the boy knows he’s in a wheelchair. It’s not a secret, is it?”

Despite everything, I giggled. I wished my mother would let Nana come along, but they were too worried about her making a comment like that. Apparently, she lost her self-censor somewhat as she got older, although Daddy said she’d always kind of been like that.

Fifteen minutes later, my mother was shoving Lydia and me in the direction of the house next door. We rang the bell and Mrs. Fox answered, greeting us warmly. “Jill!” she cried. “I’m so glad you could make it.”

“This is for you,” my mother said, handing over the basket of fruit and muffins. “You met my husband, Gerald. And these are my daughters, Lydia and Tasha.”

“Nice to meet you, girls,” Mrs. Fox said. “My older son Randy isn’t here now, but Jason is very excited to meet you.”

My eyes met those of the boy sitting in a small, simple wheelchair several yards behind his mother. I could tell by his khaki slacks and lame sweater-vest that he too had been forced to dress up for the occasion. He looked just as miserable as I did.

“He’s eight, isn’t he?” Mom asked. “Tasha is eight as well.”

“Yes, that’s wonderful,” Mrs. Fox said. “They could play together.” She lowered her voice to a stage whisper that people a mile away could hear loud and clear: “Jason hasn’t been having an easy time making new friends.”

Yeah. What a shock.

With that sentiment, Jason and I were herded off in the direction of his bedroom, presumably for me to be his new best friend. We both went, sort of like lambs being led to the slaughter.

Once we were alone in Jason’s room, we both just sat there awkwardly, not saying anything to each other. We were too young to even know how to make polite conversation.

I tried not to stare at Jason, but it was hard not to. I mean, really hard. Why did he need a wheelchair anyway? Maybe he had some awful disease where he was dying. Maybe it was contagious! Maybe he had some contagious fatal disease and my mother had locked me alone in a room with him. She’d be so sorry when I died.

Although to be honest, Jason didn’t really look like he was dying. He looked pretty much like a normal kid, but he was sitting in a wheelchair. He had short brown hair that it looked like his mother had attempted to comb, yet he’d managed to get it messy again before our arrival. He had green eyes that were bright, even in spite of how clearly miserable he was at the moment. And then there were the freckles that were sprinkled down either side of his nose, although those disappeared years later.

I was perched gingerly on Jason’s bed. He had Star Wars blankets. Actually, I had to admit, he had some pretty cool toys.

My mother always bought me dolls, but the thing is, dolls didn’t do much. Maybe these days, dolls cry and piss their diapers or whatever, but back then, in the eighties, dolls were much less interesting. But Jason had toys that did cool stuff. He had toy cars and trucks, he had a rocket, and a huge box of Legos. But what really piqued my interest was that he had what looked like a huge box of TRANSFORMERS.

Confession time: I loved Transformers. I watched the TV show religiously every Saturday, rooting for the Autobots to defeat the evil Decepticons. But nobody would buy me any Transformers because I was a girl and obviously it’s not an appropriate toy for girls. So I had about half a dozen My Little Ponies and at least a dozen Barbie dolls, but no cars that turned into robots. It was a source of frustration for me. Every time I asked my mother, she’d say, “What do you want one of those awful toys for? You’re a girl!”

But Jason, he owned the mother lode.

“Um,” I said, working up my nerve. “Are those, um, Transformers?”

Jason brightened. “Yeah. You like Transformers?”

I nodded shyly.

To my delight, Jason grabbed the whole big box and dumped them out on his bed. He seriously had every Transformer in existence. He had Optimus Prime, of course, most of the Autobots, Megatron, the Decepticons including the cassette spies, plus a bunch of the newer ones like the Dinobots, the Insecticons, and even Devastator. I was majorly impressed. If I were a little older, I would have creamed myself or something.

“Oh my God,” I breathed. “You’re the luckiest person alive.”

About the author: Annabelle Costa is a teacher, who writes in her free time. She enjoys the wounded hero genre, involving male love interests with physical disabilities, who don’t follow the typical Hollywood perception of sexy.
Find Ms. Costa here: web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads


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

 

Spotlight: The Runner by A. Wayne Gill

The Runner coverThe Runner
written by A. Wayne Gill
published by Iron Pillar Media Group, Inc.

find it here: Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

 

About the book: What happens when a brilliant attorney combines his legal knowledge with his insight into relationship? Well, imagine Nicholas Sparks and John Grisham got together and decided to write a novel. Wayne Gill’s The Runner is the story of a preacher’s son who foregoes a path to the pulpit for law school in the city.

Michael Knight has the perfect life – a perfect family, a perfect relationship and a perfect future. Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, Michael’s career as a preacher is laid out before him. But he has a secret that will take him from being a small town preacher’s kid to the heart of the big city, where everything seems golden, glittery and glamorous. When he gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Michael glimpses a future of power, influence and wealth. The whole world is his for the taking, but at what cost? Will he trade in all he has been for all he could become?

 

A. Wayne Gill

About the author: A. Wayne Gill is the Managing Partner and CEO of the Gill Law Firm. which has offices in Florida and Georgia. throughout the United States. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the South Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC), the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, Inc., and the Oasis Compassion Agency, which he co-founded with his wife Sharon, in 2002.
He obtained an English degree from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington DC. There, among other things, he served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. of the DC Trial Court and in the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, Civil Division. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Minority Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

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

 

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

 

Blog Tour: Friends & Lovers Trilogy by Bethany Lopez (review, giveaway)

Friends & Lovers Tour button

 

Friends and LoversFriends & Lovers Trilogy
written by Bethany Lopez
published by Bethany Lopez

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads (Make It Last), Goodreads (I Choose You), Goodreads (Trust in Me)

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. The stories are quick, sweet reads that kept me entertained.

Make it Last introduces us to the friends and lovers of this trilogy. It centers on Briana and Colin, her high school boyfriend that broke her heart a few years ago. I thought Briana was holding a bit too much of a grudge against Colin. However, the story was sweet and you receive just enough information about each character to  become one of theirs friends and to care about the characters. Could there be more to this story? Yes. Did the last story line resolve itself rather quickly? Yes. Did I mind these things? No.

I Choose You is about Nicole and Kent. Both of these characters have a past that they aren’t willing to share easily or with anyone outside a select few. I really like Nicole. She is strong and independent yet vulnerable and sweet.

Trust in Me is about Roni and Rich.  This was my favorite of all the three. They work so well together.

In each story, we get to know the couples as the stories progress. Each character has a past, something to overcome, something that will make the reader care about them. Friends & Lovers is sweet and romantic.

One drawback for me was the amount of mistakes in this book. I received my copy from Smashwords. In my opinion, there were too many errors for a book that is being sold. The mistakes didn’t make me want to stop reading, but they were noticeable and, at times, distracting.

everyfree3.5

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes quick,  romantic stories that leave you with a smile.

Will I read it again: I will not.

chrissysig
About the book – from Goodreads: 

Make It Last

In a small town, it’s hard to recover from being dumped by your high school sweetheart. That’s just what Briana has to do after Colin leaves her to follow his dreams. She focuses her energy into her friendships and the pursuit of her own goal of becoming a chef. Just when she finally feels like she’s on the right path, he comes back to town.

Colin knew breaking up with Briana before leaving for college was the right thing to do. He was determined to leave small-town life behind forever, and that included his high school girlfriend. But when a sports injury puts him on the sidelines, he’s forced to return home. Seeing Briana again brings back a lot of memories, and Colin wonders if he made the right decision. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he wants her back, and this time, he wants to make it last.

I Choose You

Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.

Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?

Trust in Me 

Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband’s fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she’ll find her path. When the town’s local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams…and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.

Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that’s just what he’s doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies’ man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he’s willing to prove that he’s serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he’s more than willing. But she’s taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are over and that she can trust him with her heart?

bethany

About the author: Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win 3 signed copies of the Friends & Lovers trilogy!!

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

Book Blitz: Plastic Hearts by Lisa De Jong (spotlight, giveaway)

PlasticHeartsCoverPlastic Hearts
written by Lisa De Jong
published by Lisa De Jong

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

About the book: My life has always been safe. I like it that way. I grew up in a fake society where plastic hearts rule. If our hearts are made of plastic, they can never be broken. My parents have expectations and I do everything I can to meet them, even if it means giving up on my own dreams.

Now, all I want is to be free to make my own choices.

Dane Wright is everything I have been warned to stay away from. We met one night while I was with my perfect, parent-approved boyfriend and I haven’t stopped thinking about him. I don’t want to like him. I am doing everything I can to ignore his pull, but my heart seems to want what it cannot have, what it has never had.

Can he measure up? He may think I am too good for him, but maybe he is too good for me.

Life is a series of choices and I have never been able to make my own. Until one day, when my heart decides to make a choice for me.

Recommended for mature readers due to sexual content and language.

Please enjoy the following excerpt from Plastic Hearts.

“Do you want some company?” My skin tingled when I heard his voice. He had to be stalking me; there was no other explanation for this much coincidence.

I pinched my eyebrows together as I looked back at him. “I doubt you have any reason to walk to the Med Center.”

“I do if that’s where you are heading to,” he shrugged with his hands in his pockets. He was looking at me with those eyes again and I felt myself melting under them.

“Don’t you have anyone else to stalk?” I asked, letting out an exasperated sigh. I was beginning to think I would never get away from Dane. He was popping up everywhere in my life and it was wearing on me. He was disrupting my quiet existence and I was fighting between annoyance and excitement.

“You’re the only one I want to stalk,” he said, grinning from ear to ear and leaving me lightheaded. Okay, so maybe a small part of me enjoyed the attention he was giving me.

“So, I’m your victim of the month?” I asked.

“No, you’re actually my first victim. I usually don’t have to try so hard,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Yeah? Well, you can try all you want; this is all you’re getting,” I said, picking up the pace. A part of me wanted him to try harder and another part was telling me to run. Right now the later was winning, but if he kept this up it might not stay that way.

“Hey, Alex?” “Yeah.”

“I won’t have to try for long. I guarantee it.” He looked at me with fire in his eyes and emphasized the last three words by letting them roll off his tongue slowly. I felt warmth spread through my entire body. This guy was really something else.

 

Lisa DeJong

 

About the author: 

Lisa De Jong is a wife, mother and full-time number cruncher who lives in the Midwest. Her writing journey involved insane amounts of coffee and many nights of very little sleep but she wouldn’t change a thing. She also enjoys reading, football and music.

Find Ms. De Jong here: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win an eBook copy of Plastic Hearts!

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Blog Tour: Eyes of the Sage by Peter J. Ochs II (spotlight)

9781621372103_Cover.psdEyes of the Sage
written by Peter J. Ochs II
published by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: A MIT astrophysicist is called upon to continue the investigation of a lost civilization on the Arabian Peninsula after the unfortunate and untimely death of the expedition’s lead archaeologist. Just why an astronomer is called upon a situation where he is evidently “a fish out of water” is not exactly clear, but his involvement is not accidental and his role becomes pivotal. The research revolves around the location of a cluster of lost cities in the southern Arabian Peninsula that are believed to have been settled over 3000 years ago by a group of people migrating from the Mediterranean with ties to Ancient Greece. This group appears to have been guided to the site by an enigmatic figure who continues to crop up throughout the history of the settlement even though the recorded evidence suggests that the settlement was active for over 800 years. Some time in its ninth century of existence, the civilization and its intriguing father-figure vanished abruptly somewhere about the time of the well known chronicled collapse of a great earthen dam. As sites are revealed and artifacts are recovered, the astronomer is drawn into a complex scenario where his very actions will trigger the story’s climatic events and reveal the identity of the settlement’s mentor.
peter j ochs

About the author: Peter J. Ochs II first went to the Sultanate of Oman in 1991 to work in the Ministry of Water Resources. After two years, having amassed a great deal of information about this little known Arabian country. He decided to publicize Oman through writing, photography, and artwork. He prepared an exhibition of photographs and illustrations which was known at schools, libraries, and cultural affairs, and in 1998 at the National Council on US-Arab Relations’ presentation ceremony of the International Peace Award given to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the sultan of Oman.

In 1996, Peachey (as he is known by friends and colleagues) returned to Oman to write the first English language travel guide to be published in the United States, the Maverick Guide to Oman, published by Pelican Publishing of Gretna, LA.

From 1998, he lived in Oman working in inbound tourism. After the 9/11 tragedy, he returned home to the US. He has been a tour guide in Oman, Washington, D.C., and currently works as a guide in Yellowstone National Park.

Find Mr. Ochs here: web, blog, Goodreads

 

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

 

Blog Tour: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez (review, giveaway)

PhotoTravelerThe Photo Traveler
written by Arthur J. Gonzalez
published by Fahrenheit Publishing

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

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. The synopsis drew me in as something different from anything I had read in the past. The Photo Traveler did not disappoint. I read this book every free chance I had.

I felt for Gavin from the get-go. I wanted him to get away from his adoptive father and move on to something, anything else. I had hoped that he would find some family somewhere and that he did, along with so much more. Gavin found out he was a photo traveler. He can look at a photograph and travel to that time period with a few words. This was a great, new concept for me. I haven’t read anything quite like this and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think what I enjoyed the most was Gavin experiencing just what his actions in the past created for the present/future time. It was so interesting to read about Gavin’s travels to and from different time periods for specific reasons. He meets so many different people, including his parents. Gavin also meets the love of his life. That turns into a whole lot of trouble and happiness and disbelief for Gavin.

I liked Estelle and Bud. I would have liked them more except for their decisions early on in Gavin’s life. I was happy to see the three of them falling in line with each other as if no time had passed since the last time they had seen each other. Gavin’s parents were interesting. They have their secrets but it is clear that they truly care about Gavin. The other characters, namely Mario, Naima and Axel, Alanna, and Yogi, all added to this story and gave it their own interesting twists.

Was some of this book hard to believe? Yes. It was difficult for me to hear Gavin, a 17 year old boy, describe various scenes,  most notably the restaurant on his birthday, with such detail and awe. I reasoned that it was because he is so into photography. But part of me kept saying, “But he’s a 17 year old boy! He wouldn’t think about such details!” I’m not sure which way to go with that. Did it distract from my reading an enjoyment of the novel? No.

Another thing that kind of bugged me was the use of actual historical events and people along with the use of fictional historical events and people. There is mention of a President Bower and a threat of an all out war. I have no problem with this on its own. However, when the main character travels to places and events that actually occurred – Hooverville during the Great Depression, the Salem witch trials – then there is reference to a fictional person, President Bower, well, that just bugs me. Either make it all actual historical facts or make it all fictional reality. Not both. Also, there were quite a few typos throughout my copy of The Photo Traveler. That kind of bugged me because some of the typos were rather obvious. However, it didn’t detract from the overall story. It wasn’t enough to make me not want to read the book.

Was I happy about the ending? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why did it have to end on such a cliffhanger????? WHY???? I will have to wait until The Peace Hunter is released because I must know what happens next!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good time travel book.

Will I read it again: I will not but I will read book #2 in this series, The Peace Hunter.

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About the book: 
Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his  “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

Arthur Gonzalez

 

About the author: My name is Arthur J Gonzalez.  I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Miami, FL.  I graduated from the University of Florida.  I am currently   releasing my debut novel, The Photo Traveler.  The premise surrounds 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images.

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

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a notebook, an ebook copy of The Photo Traveler, or a signed paperback copy of The Photo Traveler.

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

 

Blog Tour: The Storm Bottle by Nick Green (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

storm bottle tour

 

The Storm Bottle
written by Nick Green

find it here: Amazon, Goodreads

About the book: Swimming with dolphins is said to be the number one thing to do before you die. For 12-year-old Michael, it very nearly is. A secret boat trip has gone tragically wrong, and now he lies unconscious in hospital.

But when Michael finally wakes up, he seems different. His step sister Bibi is soon convinced that he is not who he appears to be. Meanwhile, in the ocean beyond Bermuda’s reefs, a group of bottlenose dolphins are astonished to discover a stranger in their midst – a boy lost and desperate to return home.

Bermuda is a place of mysteries. Some believe its seas are enchanted, and the sun-drenched islands conceal a darker past, haunted with tales of lost ships. Now Bibi and Michael are finding themselves in the most extraordinary tale of all.

Book Trailer

Praise for The Storm Bottle

‘I loved it… An absolute winner.’
– LA Weatherly, author of the Angel Burn trilogy

‘A writer who knows how to grip the imagination, make you sit on the edge of your chair, and make you laugh out loud.’
– Michelle Lovric, author of The Undrowned Child, The Mourning Emporium, and The Book of Human Skin

‘If you only ever buy one Kindle book in your life (although that sounds a bit unlikely, now that I stop and think) this has to be it.’
– The Bookwitch blog.

 Please enjoy the following excerpt from The Storm Bottle

I flopped on a couch. It was stuffy below deck, but Rodrigo’s nose was already pink, and if I took him home with third-degree burns I’d be toast. He glanced up from his water.

‘What’s this?’

‘That? It’s Hal’s storm bottle.’

Rodrigo gawked at the glass thing that dangled above the table, and I could see him thinking, A bottle of storms?

‘For predicting the weather,’ I said. ‘It’s also called a shark oil barometer.’

The bottle was actually one from my collection, a mint-condition Hamilton torpedo with an egg-point base. I took it from its twine cradle.

‘This clear liquid inside is oil,’ I explained. ‘From a shark’s liver.’

I noticed how he tensed at the word shark.

‘And this thick white layer at the bottom is the silt. When the weather’s fine, like today, the two separate out, see? So the oil at the top is clear. But if rain or bad weather is on the way, then the oil clouds over.’

 

 

Author the author: Nick Green is a UK children’s and YA author, best known for his trilogy The Cat Kin, published in the UK by Strident Publishing and in Germany by Ravensburger, and also as a BBC audiobook. He has appeared on BBC radio talking about his books, and has been shortlisted for two UK children’s book awards. He regularly does school visits and other children’s literary events. The Storm Bottle is his first straight-to-Kindle novel.

Find Mr. Green here: TwitterWebsite, Goodreads

 

And now for the Tour Giveaway! Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.

(Ends May 26, 2013)

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