Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blog Tour: Destiny Calling by @mbonatch #review



Fantasy / Suspense / Paranormal
Date Published: December 22, 2014


Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil's spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.
Drawn back to the hometown she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn't know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.
Time is running out, and Hope’s choice may be made for her, as she discovers she’s a pawn in a bigger game played by a merciless ruler who doesn't lose.


Purchase Links



Review


I love books that span different genres. Mixing things up really does set them apart from all of the typical reads out there. This one was definitely a great Paranormal/Fantasy Suspense. I loved all of the moving parts and how they worked together and made the story come together. 

Maureen Bonatch does a great job with being descriptive enough to intrigue the reader without weighing down the story with descriptions. And her characters are so amazingly real to the point where even some of the secondary characters rivaled main characters from recent books I've read.


Growing up with four siblings had Maureen familiar with escaping into a good book, or the recesses of her mind. She realized later in life everyone didn’t have characters telling stories in their heads, or weren’t envisioning magic and mayhem within the everyday. This, and long walks in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania spawned a love of writing.
Since her desire to become a Solid Gold Dancer was thwarted when the show was discontinued, Maureen opted to pursue other paths. Attempting to conquer new endeavors proved fruitful with her first novella, while other attempts, such as challenging a fear of heights with parasailing, were unsuccessful.
Therefore she’s chased other interests, though none-the-less-daring, but closer to the ground, such as belly-dancing, becoming a self-proclaimed tequila connoisseur, fulfilling her role as biker babe to her alpha hubby and surviving motherhood to twins (so far).
Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Slice of Life by @elliesoderstrom #review


6 Chapter Novella

Fantasy

Date Published: January 12, 2015

"This was no longer her world against the queen. It was the queen's world against her."

The Queen wants to destroy the life force of earth and has destroyed the last being that can stop her. Or so she thinks . . .
The last powerful mage in the world, Princess Aura, is the sole witness to the nefarious plot. The good news is she knows how to stop it. The bad news? She can't do it alone.
Aura must summon someone she hoped never to see again. Saint George, her lover who left five years ago for another woman. And another. And another. 
Can they work together long enough to defeat the queen and save the world? 
Told collectively by a troupe of digital artists, Slice of Life employs every medium available: prose, pictures, poetry, illustration, audio scenes, and music, to provide an immersive and exciting reading experience. 




Buy Links


Review

I have always enjoyed Ellie Ann's Novels. This novella is no exception. There is a lot packed into only 6 chapters and the amount of action and substance she is able to put into that short of a novella is very telling of her superb writing ability.

This is a play on fairytales which I found to be unique and fresh. There were many things that you will recognize from these characters but Ellie Anne does a great job of spinning them and making them her own.

And as an added bonus there are wonderful illustrations throughout! A must see! 








Ellie Ann is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of thrillers, science fiction, and comics. She was born in Thailand, raised in a small farming village in Iowa, resided in the Texan Desert, and now lives in the Ozark Mountains. 

Twitter: @elliesoderstrom




Monday, March 2, 2015

Blog Tour: Middle Eight by Audra Middleton #review #giveaway



Romantic Comedy
Date Published: February 1, 2015


When the normal life Ray has always dreamed of unravels, she falls for a drummer, comes to terms with her unconventional childhood, and inevitably discovers that normal was never really in her best interest.







Review



This is a very witty and laugh out loud romantic comedy. Van and Ray have highs and lows throughout the story and there are moments where I wasn't sure they would ever make it to a point where they were both in a position to actually end up together. This was a wonderfully written story and it flowed effortlessly. 


Audra Middleton was born and raised in Washington State where she lives with her husband and their three boys. She gave up her teaching career to raise her children, and in between diaper changes and baseball games, she began writing books. Once she started, she couldn’t stop, even after she went back to teaching. Check her website to find out more about her writing projects.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Stone Guardian by @PaulinaShelf #review


Fantasy Romance
Date Published: November 18, 2014

Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)

Royal House – Purple



Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah's father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.



Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.



This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.



Buy Links





Review 


A vivid new world from Paulina Woods. I really enjoyed the concept and the vision Paulina had for this novel. There were a few things that could have been better executed such as the characterization and pacing, but all in all it is a great read. The ending leaves a bit to be desired so be prepared to anticipate book #2!



Paulina is a small town girl with big dreams. She is the second oldest of three talented siblings.
As early as three she was directing her family around acting out whatever current story was in her head. At four between her older brother and her, a whole universe was created which the younger siblings were introduced into as they were born.
Her natural ability to tell a story took her down many paths. She wrote plays, poems, small children books and short stories all before she entered high school.
When picking a career her councilor told her writing was a dying art and so she went to school for veterinarian science. Three years later she dropped out of university and enrolled in the local community college with a major in journalism
In 2008 she graduated with her BA in Communication/Journalism from Cal State Fullerton.

Life happened and her dreams were put on hold until 2013 when she started a review blog. This year her first book in her Witches Amulet series will be released. 




Twitter




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blog Tour: A Manual For Marco by @ShailaAbdullah #interview



Children's Picture Book
Date Published: February 1, 2015

A Manual For Marco:

Living, Learning, and Laughing With an Autistic Sibling

Why does he act that way?
Pages from the diary of an eight-year old girl who decides to make a list of all the things she likes and dislikes about dealing with her autistic brother, and in doing so realizes that she has created A Manual for Marco.


Buy Links



Interview

What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The toughest challenge for me as a busy working mother is to find adequate time to devote to writing, which often takes a back seat to my other obligations. Unlike other writers who set aside time to regularly focus on their talent, I write in bursts. When I am on an assignment or have an idea in my head, I often stay up late or wake up early to write.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?
Coke Studio hits from Pakistan. I love how they are bringing back folk songs, as well as gems from the past. They create fusion versions of the old classics using modern as well as traditional musical instruments.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Yes. I never finish any writing projects without having two rounds of beta readers. I try to have a good mix of readers, writers, and editors in the group. Often I give my critique group questions to respond to about story lines, characters, and plot, and ask them to be very critical in their analysis. I find that having fresh views from the readers helps me tremendously. I recall that it took me 9 months to write my second book Saffron Dreams, and 3 years to edit it. In the end, my publisher had to yank it away from me to publish it.

What book are you reading now?
I am in the midst of reading Keepers by Anoosha Lalani who happens to be my talented young niece. She landed a traditional publishing contract at the age of 18. We are very proud of her.

How did you start your writing career?
Writing for me has always been as natural as doing art or design. When I decided to make design a career, I promised my father that writing would be a very serious hobby. With five books under my belt, I have proven that I do take writing vey seriously.

Tell us about your next release.
After releasing A Manual for Marco earlier this month, I am taking a much-needed break for a while. Trying to do three books in a year has exhausted me.

 Join the conversation on Twitter 



Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She has written five books: Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, Rani in Search of a Rainbow, and A Manual for Marco. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award and Patras Bukhari Award for English Language. Several academic institutions have adopted her books as course study or recommended reading, including the University of California, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Indiana University, Boston University, California State University, and George Washington University.  Learn more about the author at www.ShailaAbdullah.com





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blog Tour: A Flower in the Snow by Mark Cosman


Non-Fiction / Memoir
Date Published: July 2014

"Mark Cosman’s message speaks to mothers and fathers everywhere; this is a beautiful and sensitive book." Mrs. Nancy Reagan 


My daughter. Berlyn, was asleep on a fold-out couch at her high school prom party when a former classmate and high school dropout shot her in the head for no apparent reason. Her murder prompted me to leave the rubble of my beliefs and assumptions to go in search of answers to the most profound questions we ask ourselves. “A Flower in the Snow” is the result of that odyssey.

Review


This is a heartwrenching novel that stems from the most horrific things a parent could go through. The questions and thoughts that the experience brought on are ones that really make you as the reader think about what you would think in his situation. Its very well written and deep and thought-provoking. 






Mark Cosman’s writing began when his daughter, Berlyn, was murdered following her high school prom. It was when Mark left the rubble of his beliefs and assumptions to go in search of answers to the most profound questions we ask ourselves. “A Flower in the Snow” is a result of that odyssey.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

PROMO: Chosen by @christinejpope #excerpt #giveaway


Paranormal Romance
Date Published: February 4, 2015

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It began as a fever of unknown origin that its victims dubbed “the Heat,” but as it burned through most of the world’s population, it became known simply as “the Dying.” And for those left behind, the struggle has just begun….

In the aftermath of the Dying, survivor Jessica Monroe is protected and guided by the gentle voice of an invisible being she thinks of as her guardian angel. When she reaches the sanctuary he’s provided for her, however, she realizes that her unseen companion is no angel at all. The destruction of humanity was only the first step in a much larger plan, and now Jessica must struggle to discover her own role in a frightening new world where everything has changed.



Excerpt

Now was the time to say a few words, but nothing seemed to come to mind. I couldn’t even remember the Lord’s Prayer, or more than the first few words of the Twenty-third Psalm.
“The Lord is my shepherd,” I began, then shook my head. What came next? The lines were all jumbled together in my head, nonsense syllables that sounded like something straight out of “Jabberwocky.” And what did it matter, anyway? We weren’t a religious family; we went to Christmas Eve services some years and some years not, maybe Easter. I’d gone to Sunday school when I was really little, but my parents hadn’t even bothered with that when Devin came along.
For the longest time I stood there under the oak, the sun disappearing altogether, deep dusk falling upon the yard. Then I moved, and the motion-sensor light mounted to the side of the garage flashed on.
“I love you all,” I said finally, then set the Waterford vase and the football trophy on top of their grave.

After that, I went back inside and shut the door behind me. It seemed to echo in the unnatural stillness of the house, and I realized it was hardly ever this quiet — someone always had the TV on in the background, or there was music playing, or somebody talking on the phone. Now the quiet pounded against my eardrums, and I realized how big a three-bedroom, two-thousand-square-foot house could feel when you were the only one in it.

The only one in the world….

The thought whispered through my mind, and I did my best to ignore it. Surely if I were immune, and not just having extremely delayed onset for some reason, that meant other people had to be immune, too. How many? I couldn’t begin to guess. I didn’t know the mortality rate of the disease. Even if 99.9% of the population was dead, that would leave around a thousand people still alive in the greater Albuquerque area, if I was doing my mental math correctly.

I turned on the overhead lights in the kitchen, then went through the house, turning on all the lamps. Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do — maybe advertising my presence would do more harm than good. But I couldn’t sit there in the dark, not after everything I’d been through that day. Besides, when I peeked out through the curtains, I saw mine wasn’t the only house on the street that was all lit up. Most likely the others just had their lights on because no one was around to turn them off, but it did make mine seem less conspicuous.

“Are you there?” I asked of the darkness. Even a voice that was only a product of my imagination was better than this deep, deep silence, the kind of quiet you should never hear if you lived in a big city.

No reply, of course. My gaze shifted to the remote control, still lying where I’d last dropped it on the coffee table. I didn’t quite dare to turn on the television, not after what I’d seen the last time around. I could only imagine how bad it must be by now.

But there was still the stereo, and all the CDs my parents wouldn’t get rid of, despite Devin and me telling them all that plastic just took up space and that they should just rip all their music off those CDs and then play it through Apple TV or something. And now I had to be grateful for their stubbornness, because that meant I could get up and choose something to blot out the silence. My father liked country, but old country, like Hank Williams and Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, and my mother preferred classical. That sounded better to me right then, so I found her favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, and put that on.

It actually was better, with the sound of an orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy on the piano overriding that awful stillness. Or at least it was better until I realized that no one would ever play that piece live again, that there would be no more symphony orchestras or Arcade Fire concerts or anything, ever again.

“Oh, God,” I gasped, pushing myself up from the couch and running into the kitchen, where I turned on the faucet and splashed cold water in my face. As if that could begin to help. It was all too big to comprehend, so awful and enormous that I could literally feel the horror of it beginning to sink in, like some  noxious chemical seeping into my skin.

And then it was as though strong, invisible arms wrapped around me, bringing with them a soothing warmth. Unseen lips brushed against my hair, and I heard the voice again.

Be strong, my love. Be strong for just a while longer.

Just as suddenly, the presence was gone. I held on to the tile of the kitchen counter, feeling the cool surface beneath my fingertips. In that moment, I truly wondered if I’d lost my mind.

What other explanation could there be?


 
About the Author


A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine Pope writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Files series and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though...not yet, anyway!

Author Links








Buy Links

Giveaway

Three ebook copies of Chosen




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