Friday, January 31, 2014

With Autumn's Return

Review by Blanche Mancuso

Author Amanda Cabot captures Wy in the late 1880's and gives you insight to
the prejudice that women had to suffer.  Her vibrant characters, Dr. Elizabeth
Harding and lawyer Jason Nordling take you through the joys and pains of
trying to help Dr. Harding establish her practice in a town who won't accept a
woman as a doctor.

Elizabeth and Jason find romance as Jason helps her find the elusive patients
she needs.  You will be shocked to find out where Elizabeth's first patient
comes  from and how this leads her to more patients danger and intrigue.

I find Elizabeth to be a strong woman with high morals and dedication to her
profession  Jason is the reluctant gentleman who finds a woman that he
realizes he would like to know on a  more intimate relationship

I fell in love with the characters and story line of this novel.  I would
highly recommend taking the journey through the streets of Wy in the 1800's
with Elizabeth and Jason.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

This book needs to come with a warning...Game Slave is addicting!

Ok, folks forget the vampires, werewolves, fairies, and zombies. Hold on before you start yelling "What the heck, I love Team Edward." I have something better for you...first person gamer books. Yes, for all those geeks, both male and female, and both console or computer then you are probably already familiar with these books but for the rest of the readers out there you need to get familiar with these books. The best part about reading these books is that it is like you are part of the game and not just a spectator.

Well let me tell you that Game Slave is right up there as a really good book. To be honest, I was first drawn to this book by the cover. It is eye-catching and reminds me of a video game cover, which I am sure was the whole idea. I wanted to read this book just from the cover and the book title alone. I did not really care about what the book was about as I knew it was a first player gamer book.

I flew through this book. It is like when you pick up a new game and you have to play it all in one night so that you can get to the final boss and beat him. This book was not just a video game with a bunch of characters running around, it also had a good storyline as well. This book needs to come with a warning...Game Slave is addicting!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dare to Love Again


Review by Blanche Mancuso

Author, Julie Lessman captures the essence of early America in San Francisco Barbary Coast. Beware as corruption runs rampant. The McClare family lives on Nob Hill. Allison  McClare wants to show her independence. So she starts a school for the underprivileged. Detective Nick Barone is hired to keep an eye on Allison. However the more time that Nick spends with Allison, the deeper he falls in love with her.

This book is the second book in the Heart of San Francisco series by Julie Lessman. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. I really enjoyed reading about Allison and Nick. They were good together. Plus, I liked reading about San Francisco Barbary Coast. When you have so much fun reading a book like this then time flies as it did for me. Dare to Love Again is a must read book!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wicked After Midnight




Before Demi met Criminy, she was just a normal "human" college student. That all changed six years ago. Criminy to save Demi's life, turned her into a blud. Demi has grown bored as a performer in Criminy's Clockwork Caravan. Criminy agrees to let Demi leave the caravan along with her friend, Cherie. Things don't go as planned when Cherie is kidnapped. Demi is lost in a new world and her friend has gone missing. There is one bright spot in Demi's world. His name is Vale Hildebrand. Vale agrees to help Demi find Cherie.

Wicked After Midnight is book three in this series. You don't really have to read the first two books in the series to enjoy this one. The reason is because the story takes place in a new location and without a lot of the other characters. So you are pretty much starting new. The only parts you will miss is not getting to witness the full background story of Demi and maybe fully understanding her rebellion. This book is really dark. Not to say that the first one wasn't. However this one showed the true underbelly of Paris. Not the sparkle and glamour.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Find Momo: Hide and Seek with an Adventurous Border Collie

What an awesome book. I loved Momo. Mr. Knapp is a very talented photographer. This is such a great idea for a book. Combining fun with photos from all over. This pictures just popped off the pages of the book. While I did have fun finding Momo, I could not help but savor the locations that Andrew and Momo went. Even if I found Momo really fast in some of the pictures. One of my favorite things however was learning about Momo...his likes and dislikes. Adding these facts made me love Momo even more as if I had known him all my life.

This book would make a great table top book. Because of the beautiful pictures and you could challenge your friends to who can find Momo the fastest. A good conversation piece. This book would make a great gift. Find Momo is a winner!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Find Me

Wicket "Wick" and her sister, Lily have found themselves a new home with Todd, and Bren. Their foster parents rescued them from their drug addicted father. Although they may have a new life that does not stop Detective Carson from still checking up on Wick and Lily. In fact, it is pretty much a nightly routine with Carson stopping by in the wee early morning hours. Carson may not know it but Wick is aware of his routine.

Wick receives a strange package. The package consists of her once former best friend, Tessa's diary. In side the diary is a yellow post-it note. It has two words on it..."Find Me". Before Wick can comprehend what the message means, she learns that Tessa is dead. Wick decides to give up the case. That is before she discovers that her sister, Lily is next. Wick is joined by the sexy boy-next-door, Griff.

I had been waiving about whether to pick up a copy of this book or not. I finally decided to give in and check this book out. Ok, so this book turned out to be way better than I thought it would be. It had excitement, realism with the hacking, and a good cast of characters. Can't say as much for the ending as I predicted it all along. When Wick finally figured it out I could not help but gloat at her by thinking "Well duh, it took you long enough".

While I did like the relationship that was blossoming between Wick and Griff, I did not really feel like it was needed. Luckily things between them did not happen until the last third of the story and it was quick. Not every time that a girl or woman needs help does the good guy that helps need to be in love with that person. Still I enjoyed this book and will be keeping my eyes on this author and her next book.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

White Rogue Blog Tour




About the Book:

Cold War era biological experiments are resurrected and after Boston experiences a seemingly inexplicable bio-terrorist attack, the Center for Disease Control’s Dr. Davie Richards and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Paula Mushari once again join forces to uncover who is behind it. An obscure reference to a Dresden project found amid crash site evidence marks them both for execution. Paula and Dave are forced to leave Boston in the middle of the night and head to Washington, D.C.,where they soon find that anyone they contact also becomes the target of assassins. When the daughter of the CDC’s director is taken hostage, Dave and Paula come face to face with an evil that forces them to question the very nature of duty and service to country. With the help of one man, they learn the true meaning of dark operatives while they desperately try to stop another bio-attack from happening.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.


 

My Review

Dr. Dave Richards works for the Center for Disease Control. His job had taken him all over the world fighting bio-terrorism. His latest case has him puzzled. It is dealing with MRSA. However he can not figure out how the victim contracted MRSA. Luckily for Dave he has a secret weapon to help him. Her name is Special Agent Paula Mushari.

I did like this book. The subject matter is a scary one. More scary than some of the horror books I have read. However I did not feel the intensity levels spike high. I wanted to feel like I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time and this did not happen. The action was mild. On the other hand, I did like Dave and Paula. They share a good working relationship. With all of the numerous authors involved in the writing of this book, I thought they all did a good job. I could not tell where one left off and the next one picked up.


First Chapter:

There was a chill in the morning air.  A marine layer had moved into the Bay Area of San Francisco, creating a soft mist off in the distance as Anna looked up the street.  Anna Wheat was late to her job at one of the downtown branches of Bank of America.  She so wanted to be on time that she wished she could just jog the rest of the way, but her three-inch heels made that idea more comical than practical.  She had been a teller for the last two years and had been in line for a promotion, but like most things in the last few days, it had stalled.  Anna knew it wasn’t just her bosses were who preoccupied.  It seemed as though everyone in the country was distracted with the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Coworkers chatted about the evening news instead of last weekend’s football games.  Married friends told her of their concerns for their kids. And she too felt on edge from the constant news bulletins that came across the radio and filled the morning and evening TV news reports.  Anna just wanted to concentrate on her work, start her new job, and be preoccupied with something positive.

She knew the bank’s human resources division in Los Angeles was waiting for the paperwork to expedite the change in her employee status from Grade 1 to Grade 3.  Anna had done an amazing job that she jumped a pay grade, something that barely had been achieved in the bank’s history and even more rarely by a woman.  The bank’s manager, John Kiley, often cited Annie’s accomplishments to other employees, saying that hard work made anything possible and they should all reach for the stars.  He was fascinated with the NASA astronauts, and the Space Race with the Soviet Union inspired his language.  He would remind any employee that would listen that Americans didn’t like settling for anything, and setting goals was the surest way to focus a nation’s, or a company’s, energies.  President John F. Kennedy had set a goal for the country back in 1961, he would remind his staffers, and soon after, on May 5th, Alan Shepherd became the first American in space.  The Soviets beat us there, but we were catching up, Mr. Kiley would say.

Mr. Kiley’s cheerleading and holding up Anna’s promotion as an example didn’t go over well with other employees, especially other women.  Anna was very young, attractive, and ambitious.  And while she liked the attention she earned for her work, she hated the unpleasant glances from the other young tellers and the ashen-haired head teller with the droopy eyelids.  Some of the young women would whisper despairingly behind her back, lewd suggestions on how she had moved up the corporate ladder. Anna tried to ignore them and do her job.  She wasn’t going to let them have the satisfaction of knowing they upset her.  

That morning, as she walked along the street, Anna passed a newsstand that featured papers emblazoned with warnings about the Cuban Missile Crisis.  There was a palpable fear in the fear in the city and across the country that the missiles placed in Cuba by the Soviet Union and now aimed at the United States would lead to nuclear war, if not by intent, by some accident or miscommunication. Anna’s sister in Virginia was so panicked about it that she packed up her kids and drove across the country to Monterrey, California, in order to live with their mother and father until the crisis ended. Anna’s personality was the opposite of her sister’s. In fact, it was her cool demeanor that made her a perfect fit for the banking world. She always managed to stay calm no matter how upset a customer was.

She passed a TV store as she headed up to California: one of San Francisco’s steeply inclined streets. The brisk morning walks kept her quite fit, but this morning, she didn’t seem to have the same vigor she usually had.  It had been difficult to get out of bed, and she had to skip breakfast because she was running late.  No food, no coffee—that was the problem, Anna thought. She really wanted to push past the fatigue and be on time for work.  She believed punctuality was important, especially if she wanted the men she worked with to take her seriously.

Anna was determined to be the first woman to become bank manager at her branch. She wasn’t like all her high school friends, who also were working, but whose long-term goals were marriage, a house, and kids.  She wanted those things too, but she knew she wanted something more.

Anna looked in at an appliance store window as she passed by, and all the TV screens displayed news coverage of President Kennedy in a press conference. The president looked tired and unusually grim. She had been a Richard Nixon supporter and felt he would have been better at handling such a dangerous confrontation with the Soviet Union. Anna continued walking, reached the top of the street, and had to stop to catch her breath. That’s unusual, she thought, and then noticed her hands trembling. She remembered there was a donut shop near the bank, and she planned to stop in there and get a coffee and something to eat.

She stopped again.  There was something more ominous going on than low blood sugar.  She wiped her forehead. Her breathing was rapid and shallow. She was perspiring. She tried to catch her breath but started coughing up thick, bloody mucous. A passerby showed concern. She held up her hand to signal that she was fine.

Anna straightened up and made her way another half a block to her Bank of America branch.  She reached for the door, but severe vertigo prevented her from grasping the handle. Her legs became wobbly, and she fell in a heap in the doorway.

Mr. Kiley came running out to her. “Anna. Anna. Can you hear me?”

She didn’t answer.

Mr. Kiley asked the other employees who had gathered around to stay with Anna as he rushed back into the bank to phone for an ambulance. Anna just lay on the sidewalk, semiconscious, vision blurred.



About the Authors:
 
 

DR. DAVID FETT, a board certified ophthalmologist, received his BS and Masters from MIT before earning his MD from Dartmouth Medical School. He now runs a private practice in Los Angeles and serves as an assistant clinical professor at UCLA School of Medicine. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Randi, and their four children.

 
STEPHEN LANGFORD is a veteran writer/producer of over 150 hours of primetime television. He has also ventured into screenwriting and fiction. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Sandy, and their two daughters.
 
 

CONNIE MALCOLM is a recovering journalist who worked on The Globe and Mail in Toronto. She has worked previously on ten books of nonfiction authored by her husband, Andrew. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and the youngest of their three sons.




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No Surrender Soldier




Kiko is just like any other teenager. He wants to hang out with his best friend, and maybe get a kiss from his crush. Unfortunately Kiko has to keep an eye on his grandfather. His grandfather has dementia. Also Kiko learns that his mother was sexually abused. Lastly, Kiko finds a soldier hiding in his back yard.

I did really enjoy this book. It had a great human aspect to it. One that will make you feel for Kiko and his family. It may be about the military but it is more about the civilians that have to endure life as their loved ones are away fighting a war. In the beginning though I was confused by what was happening. I was trying to make all the connections and had a little bit of a hard time doing so. It took me getting about a third of the way in before I figured everything out and than was like "ok, this is a pretty good book." My favorite parts were involving Kiko, his grandfather, and the soldier. I felt the most connection with all of them.

Our Love Could Light the World




Book Summary
You know the Dugans. They’re that scrappy family that lives down the street. Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up after their dog, their five children run free—leaving chaos in their wake—and the father hasn’t earned a cent in years. The wife holds them together on her income alone. You wouldn’t want them for neighbors—but from a distance, they’re quite entertaining.
You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front that alcohol is an issue in the household—and all things considered, you can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day.

Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can. Their strong sense of family keeps them going. They help—and in some cases, rescue—each other as they struggle for a better life. And while they never follow the rules, or completely conquer the adversity with which they’re faced, they do manage to meet their challenges—and even earn some much-needed respect. Along the way, they might even make you proud.

Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, the twelve linked stories of Our Love Could Light the World depict a dysfunctional family that’s messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end.


My Review

I really enjoyed the concept of this book. What a good way to get to know the Dugans. They are a dysfunctional family but hey what family is without their problems. Each story progressed the time line. I do have to admit that while I did enjoy reading about the Dugans, that the first couple of stories were kind of depressing. In fact, I had to put the book down for a bit and read something lighter before continuing on with this book.

So I guess you could say that I enjoyed the later stories better then the earlier ones. However the early ones do help to set up the rest of the ones nicely. This is one of those book that you can almost read continuously or one chapter a day.

The Cloud Seeders

 
Title: The Cloud Seeders
Genre: Young Adult/Teen/ Dystopian/ Science Fiction
Author: James Zerndt
Publisher: James Zerndt
Pages: 268
Language: English
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Purchase at   AMAZON

Serve Your Country, Conserve Your Water, Observe Your Neighbor

This is the slogan of the Sustainability Unit and of a country gone eco-hysterical. After nearly twelve months without rain and the hinges of the world barely still oiled, Thomas and his younger brother, Dustin, set out across a drought-ridden landscape in search of answers. What they discover along the way will change their lives, and their country, forever.


My Review

Thomas and his little brother, Dustin are trying to survive. Their parents left them. They were suppose to come back but that was a long time ago. Thomas and Dustin now patrol their neighborhood for anyone illegally using water. If they turn in their neighbors then they get water for themselves. Dustin is starting to remember some of the things about life before the drought. Thomas decides now is the best time to take Dustin on a road trip to find their parents. They are joined by Jerusha.

The hottest genre I would have to say currently is the dystopia genre. Thus I am loving this genre. Books in this genre can be both pre and post apocalyptic. Which I like both ways. However my biggest concern about these books is the character development aspect of them. I do care about the world or background but it is not as important to me as the characters are. I mean the world is about to fall apart of has already been destroyed so there is nothing left but the people. So this is why I say it is very important that I feel a connection with the characters if I am going to go on a journey with them. Well I did feel a connection with Thomas and Dustin. However I was not feeling Jerusha so much. Let me clarify myself. I was not feeling Jerusha as a love interest for Thomas. They seemed more suited as good friends that should stay that way. The ending was a pretty good one, although I did feel like it just ended and I was let with some questions. Luckily the author wrote me and told me that there is a sequel in the works. So I do look forward to continuing the journey with Thomas, Dustin, and Jerusha. You don't really realize how precious water is until you no longer have it and are in need of it. I thought that Mr. Zerndt did a good showing with his first novel.




About the Author:

James Zerndt lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son. His poetry has appeared in The Oregonian Newspaper, and his fiction has most recently appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal and SWINK magazine. He rarely refers to himself in the third person.

His latest book is the YA scifi,   The Cloud Seeders .

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A Little Snippet:
Our Mom tended to be philosophical when she played Would You Rather.
Thomas, would you rather be thunder or lightning? Snow or fire? A question mark or period? Red or yellow?
            Dad never played. He even refused to answer the easy questions like would you rather kiss Marilyn Monroe or Madonna? He’d shake his head, smile at Mom, but always claim he just liked to listen.
            I still play my own version with Dustin even though I’m eighteen now, and it’s been over a year since we’ve seen our parents.
            “Would you rather I kick your butt or you hurry it up?” I say, and Dustin stops to ponder this before realizing I’m not kidding.
            “Hurry it up?”
            “Move,” I say, and he does.
He has to.
I’m all he has now.
            It’s seven a.m. and we’ve got four hours of water-patrol ahead of us. While Dustin gets dressed, I toss his used body-wipe in the bin and head outside to wait.
At least he’s stopped asking to take showers.
There’s that anyway.
When he finally comes out of the house, Dustin’s wearing the state-mandated dust mask with his Officer of Sustainability jacket zipped up to his nose. The logo, a big drop of blue water wearing hand-cuffs, covers his entire nine-year-old torso.
            “Let’s do this,” he says and struts off ahead of me, ticket book at the ready.
            Normally I’d be doing this on my own, but it’s summer, so Dustin’s helping out, earning his badge. Nearly twelve months now and no rain. And the year before we had a whopping two inches. Just enough to keep the hinges of the world oiled.
We walk, without incident, for a solid hour before being heckled by a Leftover sitting on a cardboard box. There’s a liter of brown-colored water at his feet. Leftovers are what most people call them. The government’s official name for them is “The Internally Displaced.”
            “Hey, I think I hear somebody watering their lawn! You guys better go arrest them!”
Even from this distance, I can see his lips are cracked and torn. Dustin has his pen out before the guy finishes his sentence.
“Forget it,” I say, grabbing Dustin by the collar before he can cross the street.
            “But he’s worth at least 50 water points.”
            Water points: an incentive plan cooked up by the powers that be. For every 1000 water points, you get a 5- gallon drum of fresh water.
            “We’ve got plenty without him, D. This isn’t a game.”
            “What if Mom and Dad don’t come back? What if they stop giving us their rations? Then what?”
            “Then we get by like everybody else.”
Dustin tucks his ticket book back inside his jacket, sticks the pen behind his ear and contents himself by taking a long, unnecessary drink. Then he wipes his mouth on his sleeve and says, "When are they coming back anyway?"

"When Dad finishes his research and figures this mess out. We’ve gone through this how many times now?"

"A million."

"C’mon," I say. "Let’s go find some electricity-bandits. That’ll make you feel better."

We pass by a few abandoned stores, the insides all gutted long ago. One has a banner pasted over whatever the old name was.

The Water Barter.

At least they tried.

We walk off the main road, down a few side streets, straight into the middle of nowhere and see a boy about Dustin’s age riding a bicycle, his belly just starting to distend. He stops and waves when he sees us, thinks we’re the good guys.

I tell Dustin to throw him a bottle of water and Dustin just looks at me like do-I-have-to, but he does it anyway. We watch the kid pump toward the bottle, his spindly legs coming to life. When he picks the water up, he waves it in the air in thanks, then goes back to pedaling more dust.

I keep an eye on Dustin, see if he’s registered the fact that the kid could be him if things were different.

But he just seems annoyed.

It isn’t much longer before we spot some lights peeking out from a curtained basement window. We knock on the door, and, sure enough, the lights go out. A woman, forty something, still wearing her bathrobe, opens the door. She’s got the thirst. It happens when you drink too much recycled water.

Her lips look like two dead worms.

"Hi, ma’am. We’re with the Sustainability Unit. Would you mind if we came in, took a look around?"

I know the look she’s giving me. Our dog used to do the same thing after he peed the carpet.

"Be my guest," she says. "And who’s this little cutie-pie?"

She doesn’t know it yet, but she just earned herself an extra ticket. Maybe ten.

"This is Cadet Dustin," I say and give her a look she interprets perfectly.

"Oh, you’ll have to forgive me. It’s just that I haven’t seen such a handsome cadet before."

Dustin, having none of it, says, "The basement?"

I shrug and she leads us down the hallway. On the way, I peek my head into her bathroom, note the illegal tube running from her Recycler into a hole in the tiled floor. She must have just gone because the thing is still agitating, filtering out the urine, turning it into clear drops of water to be used for laundry, dishes, that sort of thing. On the side of the 5-gallon plastic jug, in big black letters, it says:

NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.

The basement holds the usual Unforgivables: crude hydroponics, some lettuce, carrots, tomatoes. The government made indoor-gardening illegal last year since it uses up too much electricity. Well, that and people don’t tend to share what they grow inside.

The only real surprise here is the row of flowers.

"Dragon Lilies were his favorite. My husband’s, I mean," the woman explains. "He died last year. I share with others when I have enough. Please, you have to understand."

I want to grab her hand, put my arm around her, sit down and have a nice big salad, eat every last morsel of evidence with her, tell her she has no idea how much I do understand.

"I still have to write you up for this. They’ll probably just garnish a few liters, put you on water- probation for a year. It won’t be so bad."

"Not so bad?" she starts to say, but stops when she notices Dustin scribbling away.

"Let me see that," I say and take the pad from him.

"Eight Unforgivables," Dustin says. "And that’s not counting the fan you have on upstairs."

"Cadet Dustin," I say. "Could you go outside and check the perimeters, make sure we didn’t miss anything?"

"Gotcha," he says and actually goes so far as to hitch up his pants before heading upstairs.

"I’m already getting by on less than most," the woman begins, her hand rubbing her neck, the robe parting just a touch. "Isn’t there something we can work out, some sort of community service I could perform?"

I take a step back, cough some of the color back into my face. "Here," I say and only hand her two of the tickets. "Just pay these and dismantle the greenhouse, okay?"

Her eyes go all big and soft and I hurry out of the basement before she can get to me. When me and Dustin head down the street, he eyes me suspiciously.

"How many did you give her?"

"Eight," I lie. "Nice work, partner."

*

After our shift, Dustin and I get cleaned up for our date with Jerusha. She asked me to bring Dustin along to the Water Rally, said she had a surprise for him afterward. Jerusha’s what we call a Bootlegger: someone who makes un-recycled water and sells it on the black market. Dustin adores her, but I’m a little worried about what’ll happen if he finds out about her hobby.

The Water Rally is supposed to be a formal event, so I go through Dad’s closet, pick out one of his brown tweed numbers, the kind with the patches in the elbows. I’m hoping Jerusha will get a kick out of me looking smart for once.

When I get downstairs, Dustin’s standing in the middle of the room wearing his old Halloween costume. Tony the Tiger. From his favorite cereal. Back when we still had milk. And cereal.

"Dustin, what the...?"

"You said get dressed up."

"I meant wear something nice."

"This is nice. Wait, no, it’s GRRRR--"

"Stop. Where’s your I.D.?"

We were told to wear our badges on a lanyard. For security reasons. Dustin pulls up his tail. His badge is taped to Tony’s sphincter.

"Wonderful. I’m sure Sarge will love that."

When we get to the party, there are giant banners hanging everywhere with slogans written in giant green letters.

WATER IS A STATE OF MIND! YOU REIGN!

Dustin’s costume, it turns out, is a big hit. One of the officials even comes over, shakes both our hands, says that maybe next year they’ll have a real costume party.

Dustin jumps up and down at this, claps his paws and growls, "That’s GRRRRREEEAAAT!"

The guy eats it up.

We stop by a few of the demonstration tables as we make our way to the buffet stations, not wanting to appear in too big of a hurry. There are pamphlets about new Recyclers, some with a focus on women’s needs. They’re pink and smoother looking than the clunky one we have at home.

Next is a booth on how to police your neighborhood and turn in Violators: Serve, Conserve, Observe. Basically, it’s teaching regular citizens how to do our job. Free video cameras are available from the government if they want to set up surveillance on a suspect neighbor. There’s even a poster of a man brandishing a knife, a dead garden hose in his other hand.

Like a trophy photo.

Give me a break.

We move on, eventually finding Jerusha hovering around the buffet they have set up. There’s shrimp. Well, not real shrimp. Shrimp-flavored soyfu or something. Jerusha looks amazing, dressed in a black one-piece that stops just above her knees.

"I didn’t know Tony the Tiger was coming!"

"Next year they’re having a costume party," Dustin brags. "All because of me."

"Too bad it’s not this year. You’d win hands down, kiddo."

Dustin wags his tail. "You going to watch the speech with us?"

"Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Nothing I like better than watching people lie through their teeth."

We watch the "hysteria", as Jerusha calls it, from the nosebleed seats. Everybody else is jostling down below, crowding the main stage like our President’s some kind of rock star. Which, in a way, I guess he is. They even have his face beaming down from a gigantic 4-sided screen set up above the crowd. His beatific eyes about a foot-wide each.

"How come they get to have a TV?" Dustin wants to know.

"Because they’re pigs," Jerusha says and pops a fake shrimp in her mouth.

"I don’t get it."

"Don’t think of it as a TV," I tell him. "It’s more like a screen. So we can see him better."

"Oh," he says, but I can tell he isn’t buying it.

If I could have your attention for a moment, please.

The crowd quiets down, presses closer to the stage.

The first thing I’d like to address are the rumors that there’s been precipitation in California. Unfortunately, that’s a blatant un-truth. Now believe me, there’s nothing more I wish were true. We believe the rumor was started by some of our more unsavory citizens who would like nothing better than to undermine Operation Green. We, as a country, must focus on sustaining our current water economy, working as a whole so we can overcome this greatest environmental challenge of our time. Now who’s with me?

The crowd erupts. I even start to clap but stop once I notice Jerusha glaring at me.

"Do you even know why you’re clapping?"

"Of course, I do," I say, zero conviction in my voice.

Thank you, my friends! Thank you! Now, with that nasty bit of business out of the way, let’s get to what you’re all waiting for. The Water Awards!

More frenzied applause.

I sit on my hands.

As you know, each month we reward one exceptional citizen with a twenty-gallon supply of pure un-recycled water. This month, for outstanding dedication to the Sustainability Movement, we award Citizen Hugh Penly for the courageous act of turning in his neighbor for washing their electric car. Hugh, are you out there? Come on up here! I want our citizens to see what a true hero looks like!

An elderly man wearing an old Mariner’s baseball hat emerges from the crowd, makes his way to the podium as the crowd chants, "Hugh! Hugh! Hugh!" When they roll out the five-gallon drums of water, the man nearly breaks down in tears. A fairly moving scene, but one cut short when Jerusha stands up.

"C’mon, we’re leaving. I can’t stomach this any longer."

As we make our exit, we get a few strange looks. Like we’re nuts for leaving just when things are getting good.

Once we get outside Jerusha squats down next to Dustin, and he climbs up without a word.

Piggy-back time.

It’s nice. Something a mother might do.

"You boys game for a real party? Something that isn’t sanctioned by fascists?"

I knew there would be something like this. There always is with Jerusha. Probably some lame party with wanna-be Leftovers in scruffy beards, none of them fully weaned off the grid yet but doing everything possible to look like they are.

"I’m game," Dustin says and uses his tail like a whip to spur Jerusha on. "Gitty up!"

"It depends on where the party is," I say, like the decision hasn’t already been made.

"Not far. C’mon."

Jerusha trots off, Dustin holding onto her black hair like the reins of some magical horse. The streets are deserted, not one car out since nearly everybody in their right mind is at the rally. After about five blocks, Jerusha plops Dustin down on the sidewalk and raps four times on a metal warehouse door.

A peep hole slides open, then quickly shuts again.

"I don’t know about this," I murmur and Jerusha lowers her eyes at me, says, "Of course you don’t know. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?"

Before I can come up with a response, the door opens and we’re ushered in by a kid in a black suit. It’s ten times more expensive than the hand-me-down I’m wearing.

"Welcome, comrades," he says and acknowledges Jerusha by kissing her on both cheeks, all European-like. I couldn’t dislike the guy more. "I see you brought some defectors."

"Not exactly," Jerusha says, eyeballing me. "But I’ll vouch for them."

"Whatever you say, Jerusha. But they’re your responsibility."

Jerusha grabs one of Dustin’s paws. "C’mon. Stick close to me."

She leads us through a dark and seemingly empty warehouse until we reach a ladder mounted to a wall.

"Where’s that go?" Dustin asks.

"To the roof. Where else?"

Jerusha turns to me, flicks my lanyard. "You might want to lose that."

I look down, and, sure enough, my ID is hanging out. Luckily it’s face down, my Water-cop face still hidden.

"Right," I say and stuff it into my breast pocket.

Dustin bends over, wags his tiger-butt at Jerusha. "What about me?"

"You’ll be fine, honey. Just don’t go doodie anywhere, okay?"

I pictured hot tubs, naked people drinking illegal beer, multiple Unforgivables, Dustin having a heart attack trying to hand out all the tickets. But when we get on the roof, we find only a small swarm of dancing teenagers.

Dustin leans into Jerusha, whispers, "These aren’t Leftovers, are they?"

"Leftovers? This isn’t the day after Thanksgiving, honey. These are your neighbors."

A soft mist falls over the crowd and people start twirling, rubbing the falling water into their clothes. Behind the crowd I see a guy holding a sprinkler. I nudge Dustin, point to the rain-maker, and Dustin’s jaw drops.

I start to say something, but Jerusha grabs his hand before I can get a word out.

"It’s supposed to encourage the real thing!" Jerusha shouts, spinning Dustin around under the fake rain. "Wonderful, isn’t it?"

I nod but can’t help wondering if they’re using Recycled water, drenching everybody in what isn’t even fit to drink. I lean against a railing, watch as some of the dancers run their fingers blissfully through their urine-soaked hair.

"Wasn’t that amazing?" Jerusha asks when the rain ends. "Cleansing, don’t you think?"

"Do you know what the punishment is for--?"

Again, Jerusha doesn’t let me finish. She picks Dustin up, his fur all matted down. "Who cares what sour puss thinks. What does Tony the Tiger think? Fun stuff?"

"Awesome stuff! What was that thing making all the water come out?"

If I don’t step in, I can see Dustin bringing this up at headquarters and getting us all in trouble.

"That, Dustin, was an antique. Something from the old days. Something that’s obsolete now."

Jerusha squats down beside him as the others make their way back down the ladder. "It’s called a sprinkler, Dustin. People used to place them on their lawns and children would run through them in the summer. Someday, with the help of people like this, we might have them again. Would you like that?"

Dustin turns to me, says, "Can we get a sprinkler?"

"No, we cannot. For one, they’re illegal. For two, they’re nearly impossible to find. Besides, what are we going to sprinkle? We don’t have a lawn."

"Oh. Yeah."

By the time we get to Jerusha’s house, it’s dark, her parents long asleep. Her parents think Jerusha’s an angel, living out in the garage so she can remain close to them. The fact that they’re being used as a cover has, I’m sure, never occurred to them.

They’re the opposite of Jerusha: good, obedient, scared citizens.

"Home illegal home," she says, waiting for us by the garage.

"You live out here?" Dustin asks.

She doesn’t answer, just unlocks the padlock and clean-and-jerks the garage door open. With a flip of a switch, we’re doused in red light. A king-size bed with satin sheets sits in the middle of the garage.

"Whaddya think?"

Dustin immediately goes for the bed.

"What’s up there?" He points to a second story loft with bed sheets hanging from the ceiling. It must be where she hides her paraphernalia, her water-making lab. "Can we go up?"

"That’s my special place, Dustin. Sorry. Off limits for now."

I haven’t turned her in.

There’s my being head-over- heels in love with her, but also the fact that she knows where my mom and dad are. It works out well, a blackmail made in heaven since I can’t imagine being chained to anything sexier than Jerusha.

"Mind your own business, D," I say. "Or you won’t get to see the surprise."

"Surprise, surprise, surprise!" he yells, jumping up and down on the bed.

"First you have to keep a secret," Jerusha tells him. "Can you do that, Dustin?"

"I can do that."

"I thought so. How about you, Thomas?"

"I don’t have much choice, do I."

"No, I suppose you don’t," Jerusha says and climbs the ladder to the loft.

"Do you think she has a sprinkler? Maybe some water pistols?" Dustin asks.

"I wouldn’t be surprised."

"That would be so awesome."

"No, it would not," I say. Water-pistols are a major Unforgivable. "You know we can’t tell anybody about this, right? We’d both get in big, big trouble."

Dustin plops down on the bed, says, "Don’t be such a wet rag, Thomas."

"You don’t even know what that means."

Jerusha is standing at the top of the ladder, her black dress replaced by a pair of bulky flannel pajamas.

"Thomas, would you give me a hand with this?"

She’s holding something wrapped in a white bed sheet. I climb half-way up, help her walk it down.

"Ready?" she says once we set it on a table, but instead of waiting for an answer, Jerusha whips the sheet off. "Ta-da!"

"A TV!" Dustin says, standing on the bed again. "Does it work?"

Major, major Unforgivable.

Anyone caught possessing movies of any kind will automatically be placed in Rehabilitation.

I remember the DVD burnings held on weekends, the bonus water-points handed out for every ten movies burned. No longer would we gorge ourselves on distraction, no longer would we amuse ourselves into submission.

"Where did you get that thing?" I say, not quite wanting to hear the answer.

"Here," she says and hands me an old VCR tape. "Make yourself useful."

Jerusha drags an old car battery out from under the table, goes about threading the modified cord onto the terminals. It’s one of those old combo TV/VCR deals. As I slide the tape in, Dustin puts his hands on his lap, morphs into good-little-boy. When the images from Star Wars start to fill the twelve-inch screen, Dustin’s mouth doesn’t seem able to close.

Once Jerusha is satisfied that Dustin is sufficiently hooked, she fluffs a few pillows, gives me a nod toward the loft.

"Dustin, honey, I need to go upstairs with your brother for awhile. Will you be okay down here?"

"Yeah. Sure. Whatever."

"Give me two minutes," Jerusha says and cranks the volume before disappearing up the ladder.

I count out two long minutes in my head, then follow after. When I part the bed sheets at the top of the ladder, Jerusha is standing next to a claw-foot bathtub filled with soapy water, the steam slowly rising, a blue towel wrapped around her.

"You can’t just--"

"I can, Thomas. You should know that by now." She lifts her leg up, the towel opening up along her thighs in a V as she dips her toes in. "When’s the last time you had a real bath?"

Number One on the list of Unforgivables.

I can’t speak.

Would you rather watch R2D2 or take a bath with Jerusha?

"High school," she says. "Am I right?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Well, what are you waiting for?"

"Where’d you get all the water?"

"Take your clothes off." Jerusha drops the towel to the floor, starts coming toward me and I back away, worried about Dustin. "We’re just taking a bath, Thomas. What do you think is going to happen?" Her smile widens. "He can’t hear us anyway."

I undress, sit down in the tub, barricade my knees against my chest as the water envelopes me like smoke. An entire tub full, hot enough to turn my legs a deep pink.

"Now relax." Jerusha takes her hand, tugs at one of my feet so that my leg slides down along her thighs. "That’s better." Her hair is spread out against the back of the tub like a shiny black fan. I can’t stop staring. "Feels good, wouldn’t you say?"

"Yeah," I say, my voice quivering like the surface of the water.

Jerusha leans forward, places her mouth against my knee, gives it a soft bite. The world pulses and pounds in my ears as she lies back with this pleased look on her face. I close my eyes, listening to the sounds of light sabers and blasters filtering up from below. I stay that way for I don’t know how long, but by the time I open my eyes again, the water’s almost cool.

Jerusha, smiling that illegal smile of hers, says, "I guess that makes you a Violator now, too."

"If Dustin wasn’t here," I start to say. "I’d violate more than--"

"Oh God, I forgot about him," she says and pulls herself out of the water, starts drying herself with one foot on the tub.

When she finishes, she climbs back into her pajamas and heads back down to Dustin. I dry myself with Jerusha’s towel, rub her smell as deeply as I can into my own skin before putting my clothes back on.

I’ve been so preoccupied that I haven’t had time to really look at her water-brewing system. I’ve seen them before, but this one is especially tricked out. There’s a car battery on the floor, jumper cables hooked up to an iron rod that leads to a small skylight in the roof. Aluminum foil covers the bottom of the skylight while plastic tubing drips down like an IV into a barrel. It must have taken her a month to get enough water for just the one bath.

I feel honored almost to the point of tears.

By the time I make it downstairs, the tape’s sticking out of the VCR and Dustin’s fast asleep on the end of the bed. Jerusha’s already turned the TV off, covered Dustin with a blanket.

That night I fall asleep with my arm around Jerusha, her back arched into my chest as I dream of flash floods, thunder and lightning, showers, tsunamis.

 

Oregon Mourning

The lake’s been electrocuted again,

the mist sizzling

from its bald surface,

the fish all capsizing

while the loons keen.

Soon the cicadas, too,

will throw their voices

across the water

in protest.

i can almost remember how all this used to look,

back before they passed sentence

on all the good things.


The Cloud Seeders Blog Tour Page

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Book Summary

Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster? Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.


My Review:

I have read every book in this series. Each one can be read as a stand alone novel. By far my favorite book is this one. I loved the modern day twist that the authors put on the famed couple, Romeo and Juliet. It is hard to find anything original anymore that does this story justice. I thought that the authors did a good job of revamping this tale. However I must admit that I found I liked when I went back in time with Benny and Nick. They were really the "meat" of the story and how the feud between the Caputos and the Montes.

I could not stop reading this book. However in the beginning it did take me a moment to figure out the flow of the book. With each chapter alternating between the present and the past. So to stop and switch the flow from what was happening in the present to go back to the past was not as smooth. It only took me until the beginning of chapter three to figure this out. I liked the ending. Anyone But You is a charming, fun book to read.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Starter House will have you thinking twice before purchasing a home without knowing its past history.

Lacey and her husband, Eric are house hunting. Lacey finds the perfect house. This house has a history, It is known as a murder house. It is evil. Everyone one that has lived here prior has moved. They all have one thing in common. All the women who lived in the house never gave birth to a child. The house feeds on them. Lacey soon realizes why when she meets Drew. Drew is a ghost in the house. He starts to get violent towards Lacey to the point that she fears for her unborn baby's life. She must figure out what happened to Drew before she becomes the house's next victim.

If you are looking for a really good book to read, then you don't need to look any further than  Sonja Condit's Starter House. I instantly became enthralled by this book. While I enjoyed everyone who was featured in this book, my favorite parts were involving Lacey and Drew. These scenes were haunting and exciting to read. I was trying to figure out Drew's story before Lacey. I kind of had a clue but had not fully put all the pieces together before she did.

I have to give it up to Lacey however as I don't know I would have stayed in the house as long as she did with a ghost that wanted to harm my baby. Plus you know things are crazy when your mom, who is a bit of a kook herself does not believe you when you tell her that you are just playing a game of chutes and ladders with a ghost. Starter House will have you thinking twice before purchasing a home without knowing its past history.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ice Dogs is a howling good time for all ages!

Victoria owns her own dog sledding team. She is good at what she does and does not do so bad in races either. This is all thanks to Victoria's father. He taught her everything that she needs to know about having a successful dog sledding team. Sadly, Victoria's father died.

Victoria decides to take her team out for a run. Victoria comes upon a boy. He is hurt. His name is Chris. Victoria tries to get Chris home but realizes that it will be Victoria's greatest adventure yet...surviving in the wilderness.

I picked up this book to give to my nephews. I thought that they might enjoy reading about sled dogs even if the team is lead by a girl. I read this book and enjoyed it. The chapters are short and the words are easy to understand. So for the targeted age group that this book is recommended for of 10 and up, is perfect. My nephews will be able to read the book all by themselves. Plus, I did not find that the scary moments with the wolves and Victoria and Chris lost in the wilderness were too scary. I know my nephews just like me will fall in love with all of Victoria's dogs. The author has a good ability to story tell. I felt like I was there with Victoria and Chris and her dogs and could feel the cold chill. I can not wait to see what Terry comes out with next. Ice Dogs is a howling good time for all ages!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Brady Needs a Nightlight + Giveaway

I had such an enjoyable time reading this book. I want to read it again and again. I love Brady. Who knew that bats just wanted to have fun too. When I read the title for this book I was expecting Brady to find a nightlight in the form of a flashlight. I did not imagine that he would find something better in fireflies. What a fun and creative way to make a nightlight. Of course I would not recommend capturing a bunch of fireflies as you will harm them and then they would not shine as bright. There was just the right amount of words and they were simple that you can give this book to your children to read by themselves.

Purchase a copy here
Brady Needs a Nightlight is a Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Honoree!
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 About Brian Barlics
Brian was born and raised in New Jersey and currently lives in Northern California. He is a Pediatrician with a strong love for children and is dedicated to their health and well-being. He believes not only in the physical health of children but also in the enrichment of their minds and building of their character. He is a strong advocate of the well-supported idea that reading to your child encourages a strong parent-child bond, promotes literacy, and helps them tap into their seemingly endless imaginations. He has recently started a new venture as an author of children’s books. His award-winning book “Brady Needs a Nightlight” is now available and might become your child’s favorite bedtime story!



I have 1 copy of this book to giveaway US/Canada only. Leave me an email. Contest winner chosen Jan 25th

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Calling


     Book Summary
Twenty-year-old Bethany Schrock is restless. Her love life has derailed, her faith hangs by a thread, and she is spending the incredibly hot summer days wading through a lifetime’s accumulation of junk at the home of five ancient Amish sisters. About the only thing that holds her interest is the spirited and dangerously handsome Jimmy Fisher–and he seems bent on irritating her to no end.

When the sly old sisters and a guest at the Inn get Bethany involved in running the local soup kitchen and starting a community garden, she suddenly finds herself wondering, Shootfire! How did that happen? Despite her newfound purposefulness, a gnawing emptiness about a childhood mystery continues to plague her. Encouraged by Jimmy Fisher, she will seek out the answers she craves–and uncover a shocking secret that will break her heart, heal it, and point her to love.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers her trademark twists, turns, and tender romance in this delightful and exciting visit to the deceptively quiet community of Stoney Ridge

My Review

This book is the second one in the this series. However it can be read as a stand alone novel. I have read several books by this author and liked them. While I did like this book as well. I just did not love it as much. I really wanted to love this book as the story was fun. I loved the Amish Sisters, found Jimmy charming, and Bethany to be a bit of a firecracker so with all of this you would think that I would blasted through this book but I struggled. I never found that deep, emotional connection that I was looking for with the characters. Still I do enjoy reading this author's books and will read more of her books.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The House on the Cliff




Therapist Jessica Mayhew's professional life is good but her personal life is in turmoil. Her husband cheated on her with a younger woman. Although he said it was a one time thing , Jessica can not help easily forgive and forget. That is why when her newest client, Gwydion has a freak out moment and needs Jessica's help, she decides to pay Gwydion a house visit and stay for a while. To give herself space from her husband. When Jessica arrives at the house, she learns a secret about Gwydion's family. One that drags Jessica into the mix and into danger.

I was really looking forward to reading this book. It sounded a little like it might be a gothic psychological thriller or maybe it had to do with the book cover. Sadly, I was not feeling this book as much as I had hoped to. Don't get me wrong as it is alright but none of the characters reached out and connected with me on an emotional level. In addition, I found them to be somewhat dull. I know if I had connected with the characters better then I would have liked this book more. The story line was fine as I did read this book really fast. The mystery surrounding Gwydion and his family was not really a big secret. The author tried to make the secret dark but it did not come off that way. Finally, the ending was a little of a let down.  I was like "really, this is how it is going to end regarding Jessica and Gwydion?"

Monday, January 13, 2014

City of the Divine Sun Book Spotlight + Giveaway






A famous archaeologist, last rumored to be in search of a hidden Maya city in Guatemala, has gone missing. Her daughter. Serena, worried and overcome by strange visions, abandons everything to search for her mother and the answers to the apparitions that have begun to haunt her.

Her mother wasn't the only one searching for Mah K'ina. The Baron seeks to plunder the city for its untold riches and is willing to eliminate anyone that gets in his way. Out of her element and desperate to save her family, Serena must now rely on her past to show her the way.


 









I was born and raised in the Houston, Texas area, and have lived in Texas my whole life! (Gotta love humidity!) I currently live in central Texas with my husband and two sons.

Nothing makes me happier than settling down with a good book, but they aren't always easy to find! Some of my favorites (in no particular order) include: Jane Eyre, The Blue Sword, Dracula, Ender's Game, Heir to the Empire, and the Harry Potter series. I love a good scifi/fantasy book, but it certainly isn't limited to that genre.

You can read all about my current/published novels on my webpage,www.hollymccaghren.com, as well as on Goodreads. Happy reading!



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MindTrace
Blog:
http://hollymccaghren.com/
Website:
http://hollymccaghren.com/
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590128.Holly_McCaghren


Excerpt:


"Now's our chance. We have to go before someone figure's out we're missing!"

A rush of adrenaline flooded her system as Serena followed the rest of the group to the side of the helicopter, ducking and sticking to the shadows as much as possible. The landing pad was strangely quiet in the absence of the recent commotion; every sound they made seemed to echo cruelly across the opening.

They reached the side of the helicopter without incident, and Ryder creaked open the driver's door and motioned for everyone else to pile in. Serena ducked in the passenger seat while Hunac and Madeline slid into the back seat. Tossing their bags in the small open cargo space in the back, everyone looked at Ryder expectantly.

Serena noticed he seemed nervous for the first time since she'd met him. Sweat rolled down his face as he tried to make sense of all the dials and switches on the dashboard. It seemed as though there were at least a hundred different things to look at.


I hope he knows what he's doing… None of this makes any sense to me.
"Put on your headsets, folks. It's about to get really loud in here."

Serena put on her headset and looked behind her. If Hunac was nervous, it was not evident on his face. Her mother, however, seemed to fear for her life. Serena reached back and laid a hand on her knee, awkwardly, and gave her a reassuring smile.

"Here goes nothing…" Ryder muttered to himself.

He moved so quickly, Serena couldn't keep up. She knew that time was of the essence. Once the rotors began to spin, everyone would know exactly where they were.

The engine cranked up, and she heard a mechanical whine as the rotors started to turn. To her left, she could see the two men fly out of the building, dazed.

The tall man frantically pulled out his radio, speaking rapidly to someone on the other side. Serena had no idea what he was saying, but a moment later, the man seemed to realize exactly what was happening.

He turned to yell at the man next to him, and they both ran back into the building.


Please hurry! We have to get out of here!!
Then the ground shifted nauseatingly before her, and she realized they were slowly rising into the air. The helicopter rolled forward, tipping dangerously down. The blades spun mercilessly close to the building where the men had gone. They flew out now, running madly away from the landing pad.

"Ryder!! Pull up!"

"I'm trying, darling. It seems I'm a little more rusty than I thought."

The aircraft pulled back then, leveling out before rising again. Serena saw a jeep coming into the clearing now, men jumping out and pulling out their weapons.

They were high enough to be above the trees, but nowhere near out of the range of the assault rifles. If they did fire, however, the chopper would most likely crash into the trees. The Barón came out of the jeep last, looking up and making this realization himself. He raised his arm, signaling his men to lower their guns.

They were too high for her to be sure, but it seemed almost like the Barón had seen her and smiled. It wasn't a good smile, either.


 

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Tour Schedule:
1/13 - Cheryl's Book Nook - Spotlight

1/13 - Margay Leah Justice - Guest Post

1/14 - Books R Us - Spotlight

1/15 - Pretty Girls Read Books - Guest Post 

1/16 - FicHYPERLINK "http://www.fic-talk.com/"-Talk - Excerpt

1/17 - Read-Love-Blog - Excerpt

1/19 - BookwormBridgette's World - Spotlight 

1/20 - [Insert Clever Quip Here] - Spotlight

1/20 - In The Pages of a Good Book - Guest Post

1/23 - A Book Obsession - Spotlight

1/25 - Racing To Read - Excerpt & Review

1/28 - Miriam Smith - Spotlight

1/29 - What I'm Reading - Excerpt

1/31 - The Reading Obsession - Guest Post & Review

2/2 - Amethyst Daydreams - Guest Post

2/4 - Let's Talk About Books - Spotlight & Review







Sunday, January 12, 2014

Free Book Sampler






This free Covet Sampler contains excerpts from every single Covet book since the launch of the line, as well as sneak peeks of our January titles that you won't find anywhere else! With over twenty wonderful Covet samples just a click away, there's something for everyone. Tiffany Allee                        Jennifer Armentrout
Jenna Bennett                      Boone Brux
Kendra Leigh Castle           Nina Croft
Christy Gissendaner            Sarah Gilman
Candace Havens                 Mark Henry
Lisa Kessler                        Angela McCallister
Kristin Miller                       Abby Niles
Melissa Bourbon Ramirez   Susannah Scott
Including a sneak peek at our January books...Heather Long                     Victoria Davies


Try for free or purchase here

Night Harvest



F.J. Pervis sustains a knee injury. He wants only the best to work miracles on his knee. That is why he calls up his friend. Something goes wrong during the surgery and Pervis goes into cardiac arrest. As if things could not get worse, Pervis's body goes missing. It reappears but with one major flaw. Pervis's brain has been surgically removed. The worse part is that Pervis was alive when it was removed.

Demetri is a medical student. He is in his fourth year. He ges involved in the case of Pervis along with Detective Patrick McManus. They try to track down the killer. Demetri learns that Pervis is not the killer's first victim.

Dr. Alexiades impressed me with his first novel. It is not as gory as I might like my murder thriller books but it is still dark. Which it makes up for in this department. However most of the characters I was not feeling as much except for the exception of Demetri and Detective McManus, and of course the killer. There was not enough depth about them that kept me intrigued. I found the others to be petty and actually not too smart. Really why were Demetri and Detective McManus the only ones that could put all the clues together and figure out who the killer's identity was? Although, I have to say that I found the killer to be scary and evil and not someone that I would to meet in a back alley. The scariest part is that you might meet the killer and never know it. This was a fast read. The ending was a good one. It leads to the fact that that the author may revisit again the characters.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Healing for the 21st Century




I have to agree with one reader/reviewer, who pointed out that this is probably not the best book to jump into if you are wanting to learn about the holistic lifestyle. I am not that big into the holistic approach but I have been slowly turning this way. I think that this more natural approach is a better way then just self medication that is currently happening.

However back to the book. I found a lot of what the author was saying interesting but I had to re-read sections several times to make sense of it. The author used a lot of big words and lengthy descriptions. Even at times you could tell he was getting really into what he was talking about and would realize it and back off and quickly finish his thoughts. Still I could tell that the author was well versed in the subject matter and shared good insight. This is the type of book that you would use more as a study guide that you will reference to again and again versus one to just sit and read.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Flowers in the Attic= Lifetime Movie

Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie Dollanganger lost their father in a car accident. Their mother tells them that they are moving in with her parents. Her parents are rich. However, their mother did something very bad and her father wrote her out of the will. She hopes to get back in his good graces. Besides her father is very sick and does not have much time left before his impending death. There is one slight problem...their mother's father can not know that they exist. They must be locked away up in the attic until the passing of their mother's father's death. Minutes turn into hours and hours into days and days into years.

It has been years since I read this book. So when I saw that the Lifetime Movie Network was going to show a movie version of this book, I had to re-read this book again. I finished this book in two days. It is a super, fast read. Reading this book reminded me of why I read so many of this author's books. Flowers in the Attic made me fall in love even more with books and cemented my admiration for V.C. Andrews! Well the past books not the current ones written by ghost writers. It seems that the current books are missing the magic in them that I enjoyed. I am not as drawn in by the story or connected with the characters. Which in this book I loved both of these things. Besides you have to love the characters otherwise you would not finish this book. It is pretty much about the four Dollanganger children. I hated the children's grandmother and mother as if I was locked up in the attic with them. I actually now want to go back and re-read the other books in this series about the Dollanganger children.