Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Talent for Trouble Blog Tour and Giveaway


 
 
My review
 
Felicia had no other dreams or plans than the fact that she thought she would become a minister's wife. So when the minster marries someone else, Felicia's world comes crashing down. What is she to do next?
 


Lord Sefton Grayson Sumner is ready to settle down. His friends had the perfect woman for Grayson. It is Felicia. When Grayson and Felicia meet, it is not love at first sight. However the more time they spend with each other's company, feeling s start to change. Grayson's past comes back to haunt him putting Felicia's life in danger.



To be honest, I did not know if I would like Felicia. I found her annoying and whiny. This was after just a few pages into the book. It did not help that Felicia was being so over dramatic about a guy who married someone else. Obviously the guy was not right for Felicia. When I say being over dramatic this is what I mean...Felicia crying that she is not the married one throws herself on the bed. Then there was Felicia's mother. I found her to be overbearing. The bright spot in this book was Grayson.



While he was some what hot tempered, he had a charm about him that made him endearing. As the story progressed even Felicia turned out to be a surprise. Felicia had a wild side to her. She and Grayson formed a nice friendly banter. Overall this was a good book.

 
 
 






Purchase a copy on Amazon

Link to Tour Stops

Jen's website:  www.jenturano.com
 
I have 1 copy of this book to give away US/Canada. Contest ends November 13th.
 

Jen Turano’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, October 21st:  The Overweight Bookshelf
Monday, October 28th:  A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, October 30th:  Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, November 4th:  Dear Brighton
Tuesday, November 5th:  Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Wednesday, November 6th:  Deb’s Book Bag
Thursday, November 7th:   Hardcover Feedback
Tuesday, November 12th:  Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 13th:  Reviews from the Heart
Thursday, November 14th:  My Bookshelf
Monday, November 18th:  Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, November 19th:  Luxury Reading
Thursday, November 21st:  Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, November 22nd:  By the Book.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dare Me

Ben and his two friends, Ricky and John are planning to make the best of their senior year. They have it all planned out. They will do ten extreme dares and video record them and upload them on the internet. The is two problems...one no one knows it is them as they have hidden their faces and two the dares are so extreme that they just might not survive them.

While I was not particularly that excited about the characters or what was happening to them, I was interested in how far Ben, Ricky, and John would take their dares. I agree with Ben and John that the dares were getting more dangerous but yet none of them ever took a strong stand and said I don't want to do this anymore. I guess I know the answer to this question "If your friends all jumped off a cliff would you do it to?"

After a while I did grow old of Ben, Ricky, and John and skipped a section to get to the end faster. Which I have to say that for all that the guys went through the ending was just alright.

Chatting with author, Joe Sergi

 
 
 
 
Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe Christopher, it is proving impossible. In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Last year, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy.
 
With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick. DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to Skyboy -secrets that will affect Sky Girl's destiny.
 
 
Purchase a copy here
  

What makes superheroes great
By Joe Sergi, author of Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures
I remember the day I fell in love with superheroes. I sat in a red velvet seat in the Woodbridge Center Cinema next to my mother. The theater only had one movie theater and I was in it. On the screen a larger than life Lois Lane clutched on to the seat belt of a crashed helicopter as it dangled what seemed hundreds of stories above the street of the Metropolis. Slowly her grip slipped lower and lower on the seat belt. I leaned forward, not even realizing I was holding my breath. As she did, mild mannered Clark Kent rushed to a nearby phone booth, and through a revolving door where he changed into a red and blue costume. All the while, the music a slow march, played "dun dun dun dun" Then Lois fell.
The music picked up the pace.
All seemed lost.
And then, Superman caught Lois Lane.
He caught her as his anthem played. With a smile, Superman announced, "Don’t worry, Miss, I’ve got you." She shrieked back, "You’ve got me? . . . Who’s got you?" The precipitately angled helicopter chose this moment to give way. I gasped again. But neither Superman nor that anthem could be beaten; he merely held Lois in one hand and caught the copter in his other. He gently flew them both to the roof and then, after making sure Lois and the pilot were okay, politely smiled and said, "I hope this experience hasn’t put you off flying, Miss Lane. Statistically speaking, it’s still the safest way to travel." With that he took off into the night sky.
For the remainder of the one hundred forty three minute movie, I watched as Superman captured a burglar, foiled a robbery, caught Air Force One, saved a train, changed the course of mighty rivers, and turned the earth on its axis to save Lois Lane from an earthquake that nearly destroyed California. (He first stopped the other rocket from destroying my neighbor, Hackensack, New Jersey, where Miss Teschmacher’s mother lived, because he promised her he would and Superman always kept his promises.)
Afterwards, my mother took me into the nearby Toys R Us, where she bought me Superman comics, a poster, a cape, and a superman action figure, (who was quite content to fly with Han and Luke in my Millennium Falcon.)
I was eight years old and I was hooked.
Thirty-six years later, I am still hooked. In fact, I have just released the latest book, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures, in my Sky Girl trilogy, which has been called "A love letter to comics and superheroes." The new book is the sequel to Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy. The first book introduced DeDe Christopher, an ordinary teen with an extraordinary destiny to become Sky Girl. Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe, it is proving impossible. In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. When we last left DeDe, she had just adopted the mantle of Sky Girl at the end of her sophomore year of high school.In this book, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick. DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to SkyBoy--secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny.
So, what is it that makes these characters so great? I thought I would take a moment and walk through my thoughts on the subject and why I love to write about them.
In some ways, I think what makes superheroes great traces back to that scene from Superman the Movie that I described above. I’ll call it the theme song moment. All superheroes have them. Michael Keaton’s Batman drops through the roof in time to save Kim Basinger’s Vicky Vale. Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man saves Kirsten Dunst’s MJ at the parade and then again in the alleyway. But, this moment isn’t relegated to the big screen. If you read comics, you can hear it (even though comics are silent). It happens when all seems lost and the hero shows up at the last moment, with a heroic stance and a superhero quip. Sometimes, these one-liners are replaced with a great catch phrase. People know that "it’s clobbering time" when the Thing cocks his fist or when the Human Torch yells "Flame On!" And you better look for cover when you hear, "Hulk Smash!" No one can doubt that the bad guys are in for it when Captain America yells, "Avengers Assemble!" or (a little more obscure) Nightwing announced, "Titans Together!" and later "Titans Go!"
But, the quips don’t stop at the entrance line. Superheroes are also experts in the field of witty banter. Spider-Man is clearly the master of this. But, every hero is responsible for learning how to crack wise in the face of danger. Perhaps these jokes provide a psychological advantage, throwing their adversaries off guard by making them angry. Maybe, the humor is their only weapon against the dark world of evil they inhabit. I did a panel at Balticon about humor in paranormal romance, and someone mentioned that humor is a subtle way to show the strength of the hero—so perhaps that is the reason. Sky Girl is still relatively new to the proper way to converse with the enemy. Luckily, Jason is there to show her the ropes and help her with the comic timing. As her confidence improves, so will the banter.
But it requires more than a great entrance and witty banter to be a superhero. A hero must also overcome great odds. If someone overcomes adversity and defeats the villain, they are a hero. But, to be a superhero, a person must face super overwhelming odds to defeat a supervillain. Batman would just be a man in tights without the Joker. With a few exceptions (like Venom), Spider-Man’s major villains were all introduced in the first year of the book. They still appear in his book to this day. Batman consistently faces the same insane criminals month after month (as if Arkham Asylum has a revolving door). In fact, the Flash’s enemies actually refer to themselves as The Rogues. Stan Lee, in the early days of Marvel Comics, added another dimension to this concept by adding real world problems. So Spider-Man does not only have to face off against the Green Goblin, but he also needed to make enough money to buy medicine for his Aunt May. I rtied to do the same with Sky Girl. She must not only face off against Sky Boy’s own rogues gallery called the Retallion Battalion, which Sky Girl inherits, but also has to do her math homework and clean up the kitchen table.
Of course, it could be that superheroes have an unerring moral compass and sense of responsibility. Superman is the world’s biggest Boy Scout. Shazam (nee Captain Marvel) is the big red cheese. Spider-Man remembers the lesson about responsibility taught to him by his Uncle Ben’s death. Admittedly, DeDe has some growing pains when her powers first develop and she realizes that with great power comes great opportunity. But, she comes around when faced with her heroic moment of choice—the moment when she must decide to become Sky Girl.
Of course, that ties into the next reason that I think superheroes are great. And that is because good heroes always triumph over evil villains. It is the never ending battle. Everyone who looks forward to their weekly Wednesday comic book delivery knows who is going to win that battle. And no matter how dark the reign gets or even in the blackest of night, the heroes will fight the siege of that final crisis and ensure that they will have their brightest day and enter a heroic age. Things look pretty bleak for the world of SkyBoy. But, we all know Sky Girl can save the day. Don’t we?
Let’s not forget the superpowers. Firemen, policemen and teachers are all heroes--but, they are not superheroes. This is because they do not possess that metahuman gene that gives them powers. (Except for my sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Lucas--that woman had eyes in the back of her head!) Some like Batman get their powers the old fashioned way, through study exercise, but he is still the world’s greatest detective; others through birth (the X-men), environment (Superman), radiation (Hulk and Spider-Man), or drugs (if you think about it, Captain America is the poster child for steroids). Sky Girl has several powers, which she discovers throughout the first book. The mysterious origin of these fantastic powers will be explored in the second and third books of the series.
Finally, there is the costume. Superheroes wear costumes. In the current age of comics, I believe the correct term is uniform. Generally, good guys wear primary colors and bad guys wear purple, green and black. Of course the primary reason for this is that in the early days of publishing, the printing process was not very good. So, it helped if the reader knew that the little red and blue blur was Superman and the purple and green one was Lex Luthor. In my book, Sky Girl’s costume is based on her male counterpart SkyBoy and is purple and black. That costume, and the color scheme, was a deliberate choice. Then again, the Phantom, one of the original pulp heroes, wore purple and black, so it could be an homage to him. Plus, the Hulk, himself, is green with black hair and wears purple pants and he’s a hero . . . Isn’t he?

Of course, there is a new trend in comic book movies whereby they have all become gritty and realistic. This worked amazingly well in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. (Although, despite its convoluted plot twists and dark scenes, the trilogy all came down to what Adam West succinctly stated in one line from the 1966 film, Batman the Movie: "Sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb!" But, despite the Dark Knight’s success, this gritty style did not work for me in Man of Steel. And although I count myself one of the biggest Superman fans on the planet, I personally wasn’t a fan of the Man of Steel movie because I felt it lacked those theme song moments. Similarly, the end left me stunned. The Superman I know wouldn’t act like that. It just felt anti-heroic and wrong. Similarly, if you go to the Youtube video for the Arrow panel at last year’s New York ComicCon, you will see me debating with the cast of Arrow on why a superhero shouldn’t kill. And while others love this realistic trend in superhero movies and television, it feels out of place to me. I want my escapism to take me to bright worlds. I hopefully was able to create a brighter place in the Sky Girl universe.
I hope this discussion has helped flesh out the world of Superheroes in general, and Sky Girl in specific. Did I miss anything? Please let me know. And I would like to thank Cheryl’s Book Nook for allowing me to come on and talk about a topic that I love.

 
 
 
 
 
 



Joe Sergi is a life-long comic fan who lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife and daughter. Joe writes on the history of comics and censorship for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Joe is an attorney and a Haller Award winning author who has written articles, novels, short stories, and comic books in the horror, scifi, and young adult genres. His first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy was selected Best of 2010 by the New PODler Review. The second book in the series, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures, was released this year from Martin Sisters Publishing. Joe has also edited a comic anthology, Great Zombies in History through McFarland Press. Look for his next project, Comic Book Law for the Comics Creator, should be released early next year from McFarland Press.  A complete list of Joe’s titles is available at his website, www.JoeSergi.net.

When he doesn’t   write about zombies, aliens, and superheroes, Joe work as a Senior Litigation Counsel in an unnamed government agency and is also a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law where he taught Unincorporated Entities.




When Will the Heaven Begin?






To be honest, I might be one of the very few people who have never heard of Ben Breedlove. However when I heard about Ben and this book, I knew I had to read his story. First off let me say well done to Ally Breedlove. I can not imagine writing a book about your sibling who passed away. Ally wrote the story and finished the book with the help from Ken Abraham.

After reading this book, I now know why Ally and the Breedlove family felt the need to share Ben's story. Like I said, my first introduction to Ben is with this book. Although reading this book, I got close to Ben and the Breedlove family. It was like I could feel Ben's infectious humor and kindness and I could not help but smile.

I thought I would cry my eyes out reading this book but this did not happen. The reason is because this book is a celebration of Ben's life. It is not about the difficult situation he found himself facing. This is a book that everyone should read. When Will the Heaven Begin? is a keeper!


www.benbreedloveofficial.com
www.facebook/com/benbreedloveofficial.com













Friday, October 25, 2013

Perfectly Matched

 
Book Summary
 
Anna Olsen knows it's time to leave her sister's increasingly crowded house and start a life of her own. Following her sisters' examples, she becomes a mail-order bride, and after a short correspondence with clock maker and jeweler Edward Parker, she moves to Denver to become his wife. Almost immediately it's painfully apparent that Anna and Edward are very different. Anna is a free spirit who would rather be painting and enjoying the company of friends than cleaning house. Edward is a consummate perfectionist who, on their wedding day, hands Anna a list of chores that need to be done around the house daily.

Can this mismatched couple see past their differences to a harmonious future? Or will their disparate passions create obstacles neither is willing to surmount?

Maggie Brendan closes her Blue Willow Brides series with a heartwarming tale of true love despite misunderstanding, showing readers that God's timing is always perfect.


Review by Blanche Mancuso

A delightful story by Author Maggee Brenda

The story is based in Denver, CO, where Anna, a young mail order bride arrives at Union Station to meet her groom Edward. Edward has there wedding all planned, down to the last detail. The groom has no idea what is expected of him, and Anna hasn’t a clue what is expected of her. Anna is given a list, and he has made a list for himself.

Anna sees the Banker kicking a stray dog and befriends the dog, taking it home to nurse it back to health. Edward does not like dogs but relents to let her keep him. This starts a desire in Anna to help wounded and abandoned animals.

They become acquainted with different. Edward belongs to a library group that meets once a month. It is hilarious to read about one animal after another becomes sheltered in their barn. Anna is loved by all she meets. She is a devoted believer in prayer and decided this is her calling.

This is such a delightful book of two people who are so opposite learning real love for one another and those they are associated with finding God’s love for each and every one, along with the animals and all their antics. There is never a dull moment with this book. It was a truly enjoyable book and I would recommend it to all.


“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures



My review:

DeDe Christopher aka Sky Girl has it hard. Besides being a teenage girl, she also saves the world as Sky Girl. Her superhero persona. She is joined by her friend and side kick, Jason. This time Sky Girl will be fighting the Quizmaster, Penny Pound, Jersey Devil, MissTick, and SkyBoy.

This book is my first introduction to Mr. Sergi and his Sky Girl books. The other book is Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy. Please note however that these books can be read as stand alone novels. Each one meant to portray a different adventure that Sky Girl finds herself in.

I had an enjoyable time reading this book. It did read like a comic book story but in a good way. I could see the teen readers really getting into Sky Girl and these books. There is a good amount of action and adventure happening in this story. That it makes reading this book a breeze and fast. The storyline is believable as well. If you are into superhero book then you should check out this book for yourself. Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures is a fun, supersonic, high-flying, good time!


 Book Summary

 
Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe Christopher, it is proving impossible.
In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Last year, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy.

With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick.

DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to Skyboy–secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny. 272 pages

Visit Joe at http://www.joesergi.net/ or the book's tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/07/25/new-ya-superhero-fantasy-novel-for-review-sky-girl-and-the-superheroic-adventures/

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Speak out against domestic violence - FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran

Note from Joshua: “The award-winning documentary Crime After Crime told the story of my seven-year struggle to free Deborah Peagler, a battered woman who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 20 years. I was inspired to help her because of the years of abuse my mother and I endured at the hands of my stepfather when I was a boy. My representation of Deborah grew into a deep friendship, and she gave me the courage to finally write about those experiences in my memoir, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid. My biggest hope is that by telling my story, others will be inspired to speak up, and we can work together to end the wall of silence and finally break the cycle of violence.”

In recognition of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness month, we are proud to speak out with BookSparks, book lovers and author Joshua Safran against domestic violence.

Here's how you can speak out, too!
  • Post it: Post the Speak Out badge on your blog on October 24th along with the book cover and info below on Joshua Safran's book FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the GridWe understand you have other obligations/plans for your blog that day, however, whatever you can do on October 24th to stand up for victims of domestic violence everywhere would be much appreciated. 
  • Tweet it:  Speak out with @BookSparksPR, book lovers and @JoshuaSafran today against domestic violence! #SpeakOut #DV http://bit.ly/1fEdISr
  • Facebook it:  Share the badge, this campaign (http://bit.ly/1fEdISr), #SpeakOut #DV, and your words against domestic violence via Facebook and tag us (BookSparksPR) so we can share, too!  
  • Rate it: Head over to Goodreads and rate Joshua Safran’s FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid (http://bit.ly/16IioTC). It’s a book about Joshua’s journey of the spirit; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
  • Buy it:  If you buy Joshua Safran’s book, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid, let us know and we will match with a donation to a domestic violence awareness organization. On October 24th only, if you buy the book for you, a friend, a holiday gift or all of the above, send us your receipt(s) and we'll be donating up to 20% of book sales that day (based on emailed receipts) to Free From Abuse in support of BookSparks Speaks Out: Domestic Violence Awareness and victims everywhere.  Buy on Indie Bound; Buy on Amazon; or Buy on Barnes & Noble. Send receipts to erin@sparkpointstudio.com.

Hanging with Beverly and a Pirate







Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.
Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.

A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity.
240 pages

Visit Beverly online at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com.




When Beverly was in eighth grade her teacher sent her poem “Stars” to the National High School Poety Association, and she was soon a published writer in Young America Sings, an anthology of Texas high school poetry. Forty years later, she sent an article on fire safety in the home to Happiness magazine, and it was published. In between she went to high school, played clarinet in the band, was a majorette, and graduated. Then she got married had three sons (one an angel in heaven), and attended Midwestern State University. She graduated cum laude with a teaching certificate and had a fourth son. She taught children in elementary school for twenty-two years. Writing was the farthest thing from her mind.

 Before she knew it, her sons were grown and married. She and hubby have five granddaughters (one also an angel in heaven), two grandsons, two great-grandsons, and one great-granddaughter. She married very young.

 They live in the country, where deer sometimes drink from the pond, skunks prowl the yard for leftover dog food, armadillos dig for bugs, and a roadrunner peeks in the glass doors to see what’s happening. Beverly keeps watch on the hummingbirds that come to her feeders and reports the different kinds to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Count. Black chinned and ruby throats are the most common types she sees.

 To relax she plays the piano, talks to her cats, and tries to make flowers grow under the hot Texas sun and with little water, and has discovered many interesting ancestors in her genealogy search. With her hubby, a former firefighter, she likes to travel. She teaches a woman’s Sunday school class. And she writes most every day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition


I can remember watching all of the Charlie Brown television specials and reading all of the comics. These were some of my favorite comics to read. I felt sorry for Charlie Brown. He never got to kick the football and Lucy was so mean to him. Of course Lucy was mean to everyone.

If you are a fan of Charlie Brown and the gang and of Charles M. Schulz then you have to pick up a copy of this book. You will relive your childhood again (trust me the best parts of it are here). It is amazing how the A Charlie Brown Christmas special came to be created. It almost did not. The original idea was formed from the documentary "A Boy Named Charlie Brown". Coca-Cola was not sold on the documentary but instead was looking for a Christmas special and thus A Charlie Brown Christmas was created.

This book gives a nice insight into Mr. Schulz's life, the comic, the characters, and everything else Charlie related. This book would make the perfect gift.


Check out the book here



Grave Descend is a deep sea adventure of a read.

James McGregor is a diver. He is the best at what he does. This is why when a multimillon dollar ship sinks, James is the go to man. The mission is simple...dive down to the site of the sunken ship and figure out why it sunk. However nothing is as simple as it seems at first glance. What is the ship owner hiding?James will have to hope that he gets out alive and not be turned into shark bait.

I flew through this book. It reminded me of the old, classic mystery stories that I grew up reading that made me fall in love with this genre. While the mystery is there, there are no real surprises to the storyline. However for me it was not so much about the story or who the famous author was but it was the characters. Instantly I connected with James. He is a quick thinker. He is like MacGyver.

Also I have to take a moment to comment on the book cover. I don't usually talk about book covers as they are not really what is important to me when it comes to choosing a book. It is all about the content. However the artwork for this book is like a piece of art. Looking at it online does not do it justice. You have to pick up a copy of this book to see it up close and personal. Grave Descend is a deep sea adventure of a read.

Check out more books from Hard Case Crime.

Read an excerpt

Our God Comes




To be honest, it has been a long while since I have listened to any gospel music. So when I saw this CD come across as an chance to review it, I decided to request it. Awesome CD. I loved all of the songs. They were all done great. The singers are nice to listen to and clear and understandable. The arrangement of the songs were good too. The songs are modern and can be enjoyed by all. If I am ever in Waco, Texas then I am going to check out this church. They are doing wonderful things.

Purchase a copy here
Check out Antioch

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NICK AND TESLA’S HIGH-VOLTAGE DANGER LAB

Nick and Tesla are brother and sister. Their parents have gone to Uzebkistan. They have sent Nick and Tesla to stay with their uncle for the summer. When they arrive they find their uncle covered in orange goo. He is a scientist. He tells Nick and Tesla that they are welcome to use his lab.

When Nick and Tesla go investigating the neighborhood, they find that they will have to get creative building gadgets to save themselves from mean dogs and bad guys. Think the movie Home Alone.

This book is a keeper. I read this book in 1 day. This book kind of reminded me of the choose your own adventure books. Not that this is one of those books but the fact that you can build some of the gadgets that Nick and Tesla use in the book makes it very interactive. You just may want to purchase two copies of this book. 1 to keep and 1 to give as a present. Besides you will want to keep a copy so that you can build all the cool gadgets. You know you will build them. This book brings back the little child inside of all of us. I can not wait to read the next adventure that Nick and Tesla find themselves in.


Purchase a copy here

HOW TO BE ALONE



Since its video debut, Tanya Davis’s beautiful and perceptive poem, How to Be Alone - , visually realized by Andrea Dorfman, has become an international sensation, garnering over five million hits on YouTube.  Davis’s inspiring poem has now been adapted for print in a charming book, HOW TO BE ALONE (Harper; November 2013; Hardcover; $17.99), filled with lovely illustrations by Dorfman. 

From sitting alone on a city park bench to going to the movies to eating by yourself in a fancy restaurant to dancing solo, Davis reveals the joy and fulfillment we can experience by being on our own.  This powerful poem calms fears of being lonely and celebrates the act of being alone as a means of changing the way we view ourselves and the world.  Davis writes that being “alone is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.” 
 
HOW TO BE ALONE is the perfect gift for those who have never been alone, or those who find themselves alone for the first time, or those who are alone but lonely.  In this small but deeply moving book, Davis demonstrates that when removed from the noise and distractions of other lives, we can find acceptance and grace within.
 
Tanya Davis is a Canadian singer-songwriter and poet.  Since bursting onto the Halifax music scene in 2006 with her debut, Make a List, Tanya has garnered praise from industry, audience, and peers, as well as multiple award nominations, including one for her sophomore release, Gorgeous Morning, for the 2009 ECMA Female Recording of the Year.
 
Andrea Dorfman works as a filmmaker, animator, cinematographer, and artist.  A graduate of McGill University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, she has made numerous experimental and dramatic short films as well as two feature films, Parsley Days (2000) and Love That Boy (2003).  She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


My review


What a great, inspiring book. I just flew through the book in a matter of moments. Not just because it is wonderful but also because once you crack open the pages you can not help but just read the book from page to page. Besides the way this book is written like a poem it just flows to the next page.

All of the illustrations were colorful and helped to protray what Tanya was saying in that moment for each page. My favorite had to be the socks. All of the different socks. Tanya shows it is ok to be alone and sometimes it is even welcome in places like...the bathroom, coffee shop, library, movie theater, and out to eat as it is always better to have your own dessert without having to share it.






Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade

Sarah is a searcher. She is about to partake in a very dangerous mission. One that has a very slim chance of Sarah returning. She will try and enter Castle Tierney. No one has ever returned from attempting this mission.

Tristan Doran is a keeper. He lives a pretty peaceful life. Thus is might be part of the reason that Tristan keeps Sarah prisoner when she is found.

I wanted to read this book as it is written by an author that I like. This is written at a different aspect from the current books that I have read by this author. You might be more familair by this author's other name, Andrea Cremer.

Just by looking at the book cover and the caption for the book, you would probably expect something along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey. While I have never read the Fifty Shades books, I have to tell you that this book is good. Also, don't be fooled by the cover as this book is not a true erotica in the sense that you might be expecting. Yes, it has sex in it but the two main characters do not hook up until the last third of the story. Even the foreplay is mind at best. This book is more about the world and who the characters are than it is about the romance.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Reluctant Courtship

Book Summary

Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome--what more could a girl ask for?

But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. If he's to keep out of a British prison himself and secure his place in British society, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach--something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not. Though they find themselves drawn to each other, family obligations may conspire to keep them apart forever.

For the sake of her heart, Honore determines to prove Ashmoor's innocence--even if doing so risks her own life.

From the first sentence, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes thrusts you into high drama amid the rocky cliffs of Devonshire, England, and keeps you suspended there until the final page.


Review by Blanche Mancuso

This book by Laurie Alice Eakes was a dramatic story about Honore Bainbridge, daughter of Lord Bainbridge. After her father passed away Honore goes back to England to live in Bainbridge house. She wants to clear her father's name as he was accused of murder before he flew to America. Honore meets Lord Ashmoor. However it is not by chance that Honore meets Lord Ashmoor. It seems that Lord Ashmoor has a marriage contract that involves Honore. They fall in love. Honore learns that Lord Ashmoor also has some bad press to his name. Can Honore help clear both her father and Lord Ashmoor's names?

A thrilling climax as all names are cleared and the guilty exposed for who they are and Honore's prayers are all answered.


“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

The Entity Who Came for Christmas is a sweet treat!




Pru Daniels opens the door at her friend's house to see the one person she wished that she never saw again...Simon Howell. What was Pru thinking dating Simon. Witches and Vampire Demon Hunters do not mix. Well at least Pru taught Simon a lesson that he will not soon forget. Pru cursed Simon. Now Simon has a bit of a impotence problem. Don't mess with a witch. Or at least break up on friendly terms.

This is a quick read. This novella while only less than 67 pages long reads like a full length book. Reading this novella makes me want to read the next book that much faster. I love the humor that Cat brings to all her characters. Also, I have to comment and say that her witches and vampire demon hunters are some of the sexiest characters living in Vamptown.

Pru and Simon had no lack of chemistry. In fact, they had so much that they could melt the snow and make it steam. It was great to see Zoe again as well. The Entity Who Came for Christmas is a sweet treat!

No Dawn for Men: A Novel of Ian Fleming, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Nazi Germany

 
Book Summary
 
In 1938, Nazi Germany prepares to extend its reach far beyond its borders. The key to domination lies in a secret that would make their army not only unbeatable, but un-killable. MI-6, knowing that something potentially devastating is developing, recruits scholar and novelist John Ronald Reuel Tolkien to travel to Germany to find out what this might be, using the German popularity of his children’s novel THE HOBBIT as cover. Joining him there is MI-6 agent Ian Fleming, still years away from his own writing career but posing as a Reuters journalist. Together, Tolkien and Fleming will get to the heart of the secret – and they will face a fury greater than even their prodigious imaginations considered possible. Both an astounding work of suspense and a literary treasure trove to delight fans of either author, NO DAWN FOR MEN is a nonstop adventure.
 
My Review
 
While I am an avid reader, I have not read much of Fleming or Tolkien. While reading this book I got to know them better and am intrigued by them. Will check out their work. I say that the authors did a good portrayal of Fleming and Tolkien.

I have read pretty much all of Mr. LePore's books. I have been a fan of his since the first time I read his books and have been ever since. However Mr. LePore's latest book, No Dawn for Men showcases just how much of a talented writer he is!

I thought that besides Mr. LePore that Carlos Davis did a great job as well. I could never tell where one writer stopped and the other one picked up. I blasted through this book. This was a bit of a surprise for me but at the same time not. One because I am not usually a fan of the historical books unless they are in the 1920s or military themed, which this book is military themed in a way but it also has intrigue and great characters.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Year as a Clown


·         Title: My Year As a Clown
Genre: Popular Fiction
Author: Robert Steven Williams
Publisher: Against the Grain Press (December 26, 2012)
Pages: 312
Language: English
ASIN: B00AHS0IUM
Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
 
With My Year as a Clown, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero—imperfect and uncertain—fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.
 
Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex.
 
Edited by Joy Johannessen (Alice Sebold, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom), My Year As a Clown will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
 
Excerpt:
This is the link to the Issuu Reader:
 
To find out more, please visit: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/08/08/virtual-book-tour-pump-up-your-book-presents-my-year-as-a-clown-virtual-book-publicity-tour/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Since leaving the music-biz executive ranks, Robert Steven Williams has put in his 10,000 hours. His first novel, My Year as a Clown, released on the indie imprint Against the Grain Press, received the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013.

Robert was also a finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and was awarded the Squaw Valley Writers Community Thayer Scholarship. His short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, The Orange Coast Review, and the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories Volume II.

He was the executive producer of the critically acclaimed BOOM! Studios CBGB Comic series. He wrote story seven in Book 3. In August of 2011, the series was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Anthology.

He’s attended Bread Loaf, Sewanee and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences. He’d worked closely with the esteemed fiction writer, Barry Hannah.

Robert’s work has also appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Billboard, USA Today and LetterPress, a newsletter for writers. He is co-author of the best-selling business book, The World’s Largest Market.

Robert Steven Williams is also a musician and songwriter. In 2005 he released the critically acclaimed CD “I Am Not My Job,” featuring Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter) and Sloan Wainwright. He studied songwriting with Rosanne Cash, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and several top country writers. The song, The Jersey Cowboy, was featured on NPR’s Car Talk. Robert was the subject of the documentary by Jason Byrd Round Peg, Square Hole.

Connect & Socialize with Robert!
 
 
 
 
Day 1
 
I dash out the front door, tossing a dozen supermarket roses on the
backseat. I gun the Toyota. Claudia’s flight is due in an hour, and I’m
ninety minutes from the airport. I stop at the exit 12 rest area for a double
espresso, down it like a whiskey shot, and hop back on the highway.
Midday traffic is light, and I push the car to its eighty-five-mph limit,
backing off when the steering wheel shakes like my washing machine
in super-spin mode. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m always this way when
I haven’t seen my wife in months.
The espresso jolts my senses. Hyperalert, I scan side and rearview
mirrors. I weave through traffic pretending to be a fighter pilot. The
a/c is busted and the windows are down; humid air swirls. I turn on the
radio to cut the roar. It’s Mike and the Mad Dog debating the opening
day losses of both the Giants and Jets. It makes no difference to me. I’m
a diehard Philly fan. Tonight the Eagles make their debut on Monday
Night Football in the first regular season game at our new stadium, Lincoln
Financial Field.
The George Washington Bridge is clear, as is the turnpike. I zip past
the Meadowlands, and twenty minutes later I’m juking through the International
Arrivals lounge, dodging and feinting like O. J. Simpson in
the old Hertz commercial, back when his claim to fame was as an NFL
rusher. I’ve got to hurry because Claudia’s flight landed forty-five minutes
ago and I don’t want her waiting.
I burst through the line of limo drivers holding signs with passenger
names. I sidestep immigrant families waiting for loved ones. I spin
around janitorial crews. I cover the entire arrivals lounge in record time.
Claudia must not have cleared customs yet.
My wife is returning from another twelve-week archeological dig,
this one in Denmark. The separation is never easy, and her first week
back is always awkward. Like quarterbacks and receivers at an offseason
minicamp, we need time to rediscover our rhythm, but it rarely
takes more than a few days. My brother says most men would kill for a


three-month vacation from their wives, and if it was during football

season he might be right, but at forty-nine and still single, Jimmy’s

hardly an expert.

Friends often ask how I get by without Claudia. Some wonder if I

just shut down. Do they really want to hear that I beat off to Cheerleader

Sex Addicts III? Still, there’s nothing like the real thing. In our early days,



Claudia and I couldn’t keep our hands off each other, but today she’ll

shower, eat, and hit the hay, zonked from the flight. At least tonight I’ve

got the Eagles game. I’ve been looking forward to it since that devastating

NFC Championship loss back on January 19, which incidentally

was our eighteenth wedding anniversary. Claudia’s still sore that I went

down to Philly for the game, but we were favored. We should have won

and gone on to the Super Bowl. How could I have missed that?

In the arrivals lounge, passengers leak out of customs in a slow

trickle. Clusters of dark-haired Spanish-speaking people come out, followed

by a ragtag collection of Eastern Europeans with suitcases

wrapped with duct tape. In the waiting area, kids run around making

loud obnoxious noises. Families chat as if they’re at a backyard barbecue.

Finally, fair-skinned Nordic types parade down the ramp neatly

dressed in casual wear, even the children looking like they’ve stepped

out of a Nordstrom’s catalog.

I met Claudia backpacking across Europe in 1982. Most guys

brought back photographs and souvenirs, a beer stein or an ashtray. Not

me. I was the luckiest man alive coming home with the British-born,

twenty-year-old Claudia. She wore a tie-dyed dress and Birkenstock

sandals the day we met; now she emerges from customs with a Barbour

jacket draped over the handle of her luggage cart, blue eyes peering

through Gucci frames, her long chestnut hair tied back in a ponytail. I

enjoy seeing her like this from afar, as if noticing her for the first time,

falling in love all over again. After her nine-hour flight, men’s heads still

turn as she passes.

Claudia takes the left ramp, forcing me to bob and weave through

the crowd. “Hey,” I say, touching her lightly on the shoulder. I bend to

kiss her but she twists away.

“Don’t you still have that cold?” she says. “I can’t afford to catch

anything.”


I know she’s a germ freak, but this is beyond even her obsessive self.

She steps aside and I push the cart, squeezing the handle until my

knuckles turn white.
 
Derailed in less than ten seconds, a new record.
 
A lump settles in my gut as if I’ve swallowed a football. Why, when

I try to make things right, do they turn wrong so fast? Do I unconsciously

undermine myself? Just like the Eagles? In last year’s championship

game, they scored a touchdown in fifty-two seconds, but after

that it all went bad. They never scored another, blowing lots of opportunities

with unforced errors. What might my next unforced error with

Claudia be?

She and I silently walk to the car. I toss her suitcase into the back,

feeling like a limo driver.

“Can you turn on the air?” she says, fastening her seat belt. “It’s hot.”

“Still broken.”

She hits the passenger window button hard. She takes a map from

the glove compartment and fans herself. I point to the roses in the backseat

next to my gym bag. “For you.”

She waves a hand in front of her uptight English nose. “How long

have those dirty clothes been in there?”

“A few days.”

We weave through the maze of airport ramps and onto the turnpike.

The traffic north is thick and greasy.

“How was the dig?” I ask. “Were those animal bones you found

significant?”

Claudia continues to fan her face with that map. “The temperature

was far more pleasant there.”

“Actually it wasn’t a bad summer,” I say. “And I made great progress

with my book, got a solid draft, start to finish.”

We chug past oil refineries, and the stench hits the car like a tidal

wave. “Ugh,” she says as if I’d just farted. She puts the window up and

rolls her eyes.

I inch the Toyota forward and reach for Claudia’s hand, hoping

physical contact will ease the tension. “We’re always a bit on edge when

you come back,” I say. “Was it a rough flight?”

“Actually, it was. I didn’t get much rest because—look, there’s no


easy way to say this. I met someone on the dig. I have a job in Wisconsin.

I’m leaving Thursday.”


 
 
 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Be Fierce

The Tilted World

Book Summary

The Tilted World: A Novel

 
Set against the backdrop of the historic 1927 Mississippi Flood, a story of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge-and a man and a woman who find unexpected love-from Tom Franklin, author of the bestselling Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and his wife, Pushcart Prize-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly

The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf all in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson. Arriving in the tiny hamlet of Hobnob, Mississippi, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents on the trail of a local bootlegger, they unexpectedly find an abandoned baby boy at a crime scene.

An orphan raised by nuns, Ingersoll is determined to find the infant a home, a search that leads him to Dixie Clay Holliver. A lonely woman married too young to a charming and sometimes violent philanderer, Dixie Clay has lost her only child to illness and is powerless to resist this second chance at motherhood. From the moment they meet, Ingersoll and Dixie Clay are drawn to each other. He has no idea that she's the best bootlegger in the county and may be connected to the missing agents. And while he seems kind and gentle, Dixie Clay knows he is the enemy and must not be trusted.

Then a deadly new peril arises, endangering them all. A saboteur, hired by rich New Orleans bankers eager to protect their city, is planning to dynamite the levee and flood Hobnob, where the river bends precariously. Now, with time running out, Ingersoll, Ham, and Dixie Clay must make desperate choices, choices that will radically transform their lives-if they survive.
 
 
My review
 
I like reading historical time piece stories. This book really intrigued me. While I did enjoy the story, I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The only two characters that drew me into their world was Dixie Clay and Ingersoll. Otherwise I was not that interested in the rest of the cast. If this story had just been about Dixie and Ingersoll than I would have liked it better.

The world that the two authors built as the background for the book was great. This book is almost a non-fiction only this book has elements of fiction in it. However Dixie Clay and Ingersoll could be anyone...your neighbor, friend, relative. This book moved at a nice steady pace. Would have liked the story to move faster. I have never read anything by either of these authors but I could tell that they shared some good chemistry. They just meshed well together. I did get Beth Ann's influence as a poet in this book. There were times when it did read kind of like poetry.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

XO Orpheus" Fifty New Myths

I am not familiar with all of the myths in this collection. However I did have an enjoyable time reading this book. To be honest I did not read all of the stories. This is one of those books that you can randomly pick a few stories to read at a time and go back to reference to other stories again and again.

The stories in this book may seem like new twists on old, classic myth stories but they are not. Well not really in a way. They may be new from the ones you are familar with but the stories are more true to the original stories. I would call this collection of stories the "unedited" version. I have been introduced to so many new authors with this book. The layout of this collection was nice as well. It just flowed from one story to the next. If you are into mythology than you should check this book out.