Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dystopian Giveaway Hop (Nov 1-7)

It is time for another Giveaway Hop!  This is the Dystopian Giveaway Hop being hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and My Shelf Confessions.  This hop features Dystopian Novels and there are over 100 blogs participating!

I cannot get a hold of my daughter to find out which of the following books she has finished - but my giveaway will be for one of the following:

by Beth Revis

by Moira Young

Or if I can't locate one of the above two books - then I will giveaway Life As We Knew It - one of my favorites!

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Sorry I am not better organized!
Happy Hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Blast: The Waiting Booth by Brinda Berry ($100 Amazon or Paypal giveaway!)

The Waiting Booth by Brinda Berry

A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal... Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High-find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia's drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it's no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia's secrets, she begins to wonder if there's more going on than she thought...and if she was wrong to trust him...


Praise for The Waiting Booth:

"The book kept me on the edge of my seat with its perfect balance of teenaged angst, interdimensional portals, and a fractured family."

~ Author Christine Ashworth

"The description was so good I could easily see things as they happened...like a movie playing in my mind as I read. I just love Regulus. He's my kind of hero for sure."

~ Author Lynn Rush

Author Brinda Berry

Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She has a BSE in English and French and a MEd in Learning Systems Technology. She's terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality. She doesn't mind being called a geek or “crazy dog lady”. When she's not working the day job or writing a novel, she's guilty of surfing the internet for no good reason.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter 

The Waiting Booth Book Trailer:

Book Blast Giveaway Details:

$100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 PayPal Cash from Author Brinda Berry

Ends 11/1/12

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Brinda and leave the others blank.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Oct 24 - 31) - $15 Amazon Giftcard! - (open INT)

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!
Oct 24 - 31st
Hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Diary of a Bookworm
There are over 400 blogs in this hop!!!

I am giving away a $15 Amazon Giftcard -


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast: The Emerald Talisman audiobook and $100 Giveaway!

The Emerald Talisman Audio Book by Brenda Pandos  

Read by Mary Morgan

You can run from
your destiny, but you can't hide.

If for no other
reason than to help endure the hormonal rush of high school, sixteen-year-old
Julia Parker would trade her ability to feel her fellow students' emotions in a
heartbeat, especially half the boys in class.

When the beguiling Nicholas uses his superhuman strength to rescue Julia from
the edge of a cliff before she's devoured by a bloodthirsty stalker, Julia is
suddenly thrust into an underground world where people and animals are often
one and the same. Fellow high school students disappear and only Julia and
Nicholas know the truth. While Nicholas, a vampire hunter, is out stopping the
ever-growing coven, an old friend entices Julia to join him on the dark side
and a psychic tells Julia she alone is the key to stopping the madness, problem
is it'll require Nicholas' life. 

Author Brenda Pandos:  

Pandos lives in California with her husband and two boys. She attempts to
balance her busy life filled with writing, being a mother and wife, and
spending time with friends and family. Working formerly as an I.T.
Administrator, she never believed her imagination would be put to good use.
After her son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder her life
completely changed. Writing paranormal romance became something she could do at
home while tending to the new needs of her family, household, and herself.

years later, Brenda now has five books published, The Talisman Trilogy: The
Emerald Talisman, The Sapphire Talisman, and The Onyx Talisman, and Mer Tales: Everblue
and Evergreen. She is currently working on the third book of Mer Tales, Everlost,
coming February 2013.

Website * Blog * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook 

Audio Book Tour 

are invited to participate in The Emerald Talisman blog tour from 10/26-11/23
hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic. There will be giveaways, interviews and
a scavenger hunt! 

Book Blast Giveaway Details:
$100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 PayPal Cash from Author Brenda Pandos
Ends 10/30/12

*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry.  Simply enter it when you follow Brenda and leave the others blank.
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Oct 22, 2012)

What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! 
Wow, it was very liberating writing that sticky post last night.  I actually took a book to bed with me (my bathroom book - The Sisters Montclair) and finished it!  This was a review book, but I had long since missed the month it was supposed to be reviewed in.  It was just a good book and I really wanted to finish it.  But the point I was making is that it has been a REALLY long time since I have taken a book to bed with me to read!  And thinking about this post today, I realized that I am actually between books and it is such a load off to know I don't have to read anything if I don't want to! 
Now, I know that no one was standing over me making me accept review books, or even making me try to meet the deadlines but me, but I hated to let anyone down.  I am glad that I have been able to let that go for awhile.

So, let's see what I might read this week.  Oh, I take that back about not currently reading anything.  I am reading One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook (hmmm, wondering if this is what impacted me to take a break from review books. . . )
So on to the possibilities of what I might read this week:
I got pulled into a movie based on this book, Tomorrow, When the War Began a few weeks ago and was not able to finish watching it, so went in search of the book.  I have discovered it is the first in a series (and I like my series') so it is a definite possibility - that and the fact that I got it through our interlibrary loan system and it is due very soon!
Found is the third book in The Secrets of Crittenden County.  I have read the first two Missing and The Search - as you can see the second one is still waiting for a review.  I really want to find out who killed Perry and think it is going to be revealed in this book - I just hope I am not disappointed!
Normally I would not pick out such a thick book as The Passage to read, as I would be strapped for time - but the reading world is my oyster now!  I have heard different things about this one, and have included it here as I have heard it is kind of a horror story - and it being close to Halloween and all I figure you have to be reading one of those!   It is a library book as well though, and as Mr. Cronin has recently came out with book two - The Twelve, I have a feeling that there is a waiting list for this one so I might not be able to renew it.  We might be starting it now - and finishing it when I can check it out again!  Ohhh,  I see there is also a book three coming out in 2014 - The City of Mirrors.  Looks like I have plenty of time to get these read before then!
I still have a bathroom book, as sometimes it is the only sanctuary where I get five minutes of uninterrupted reading!  The book there this week, Man in the Blue Moon, was chosen due to it's proximity to the bathroom the last time I was in there - lol.  It was laying on the stairs next to the bathroom so I picked it up and headed in! 
I am still going to keep my list of books needing to be reviewed as this is more for me than it is for you. What better place to keep track of it than here?   I must say though, that this post was a lot more fun to write today than usual - Talk to you all soon!


Books read and needing to be reviewed:
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray

Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mad World: Sanctuary by Samaire Provost (Blog Tour and Book Review)

Mad World: Sanctuary

Mad World Book 2

Samaire Provost

The year is 2017, and the Black Plague infection has swept across most of the United States, leaving death and chaos in its wake. Martial law is the rule rather than the exception, with outbreaks cropping up when they're least expected. Alyssa and her friends must not only battle outbreaks of the disease, but also find themselves pursued by government agents – men and women determined to track them down at any cost.

Fleeing north to the fabled Sanctuary, Alyssa, Jacob, DeAndre, Caitlyn, Risa and Luke face disturbing ordeals and terrible tragedy as they encounter unbelievable situations in their struggle to reach safety. Using their skills and wits in their fight to survive against ever worsening odds, they weather hardship, betrayal, and the ever-present specter of death as they flee north, all the while vowing to protect one another – and most of all their precious 5-year-old Luke, from a world gone mad.

Sanctuary, the second installment in the Mad World series, is a heart-rending adventure of astonishing revelations, tragic discoveries, agonizing separations and devastating losses that test these friends to their limits. With heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense at every turn, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

Find out what happens next.

My thoughts: This was book two of the Mad World series.  Book one was Epidemic and while it is not necessary to read it first, as you do get some back story, I was glad that I did. (Here is my review)  Sanctuary starts out five years after the epidemic started.  Alyssa and friends - now family - have not stayed in one place for long.  They continue to move because they are afraid for Luke - he was born as his mother was turning because of the plague.  So he is somewhat of a hybrid.  They have discovered that the CDC are hunting them because they want to dissect Luke to see if they can find a cure.

They have heard about a place in Canada called Sanctuary and set off to try to get there.  Along the way they meet new friends and run into the ever present zombies which can crop up anywhere these days.  They take off for Canada via South and North Dakota, not knowing what is out there and even how they are going to be able to cross over into Canada.  

I liked the way that the story stayed true to the relationships that had developed in book one - and how Risa had grown up and was a street smart teenager now.  Luke was a loveable little boy, but all he knew was zombies, and he had seen his share.  Some of the run-ins with the zombies were entertaining as well as gory.  

The ending sends you further into the future and set ups nicely for another book.  

~I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from Bewitching Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Please enjoy this excerpt from Sanctuary

Excerpt Chapter Twelve:

We were about 50 feet from the barn when suddenly the lights inside went out.
“Oh, that is so not good,” I said under my breath.
Risa stopped completely and stared, trying to see any danger before she got to it. I stopped, too, and we just stood there for the space of a few heartbeats. This night was getting creepier by the hour. After a minute, Risa shrugged and said, “Well, whatever. I can’t just sit here waiting. Let’s go see what scary horrors lie in wait for us in there.”
At this I burst out laughing, and hung my arm over her shoulders. She had broken the tension, and I felt immensely better. Laughing together we walked toward the now dark barn.
We got to the barn door and peered in. It was pitch dark, so we switched our flashlights on and tried to illuminate the massive interior.
“Hmmmm,” I said, trying to see in the darkness beyond the twin beams of light. The barn was too big to see; there was nothing for it, we would have to search the dark expanse cubic yard by cubic yard.
We split up and began searching and calling every few minutes. I heard a snuffling in the dark reaches, but it was Risa who said, “Awww, hi there little guy.” And then, “Alyssa, come look at this.”
I trotted over to where Risa was standing at a stall door, shining her flashlight on the interior. Peering over the tall wooden door, I looked inside the stall and saw a mare with what appeared to be her newborn foal. The baby teetered over to its mother on long legs and then ducked its head under and began to nurse.
“Awww,” I said softly, smiling. We watched the two for a while, marveling at the wonderful sight. It was so adorable. A reminded that life goes on, that the plague hadn’t affected this little family one bit.
We didn’t hear what had just entered the barn until it was almost upon us. As we watched the mother and baby, the mare’s head shot up and she snorted nervously. At the same time, we heard the low growls, several of them, coming from the direction of the door we’d just come in not five minutes ago.
“Oh, crud,” Risa said as she turned. The hairs on the back of my neck rose as they did every time I heard those growls when I wasn’t expecting them.
“Quick, switch off your flashlight,” I whispered. “Maybe it’ll help.” I switched mine off as I said it, and then ducked and ran softly on the hay-covered floor to the far end of the huge barn. Risa followed me, making hardly any sound. We tiptoed along the side of the stalls and tried to make ourselves as small as possible. After we got to the last of the doors, we crouched there in the darkness. I was unwilling to go inside a stall to hide; I didn’t want to be caught in one, with no way out.
The growling became intermittent, and I thought I could make out at least three different voices. So, at least three zombies now shared this barn with Risa and me, and the mare and her foal. Somehow, I didn’t think the horses had much to worry about.
In the five-plus years since the epidemic began, scientists had been studying the problem and testing different theories. In the process, they had discovered a few interesting facts about the people infected by the plague. The zombies. First of all, they didn’t seem to be attracted to animals. Lucky for us people, they seemed to only want to taste us. Great, huh?
Second. They seemed to have very poor vision. Guess that might have had something to do with the way their eyes quickly went milky, as if they had cataracts. Gross. Anyway, they seemed to hunt by smell mostly, and also used their sense of hearing to find their prey. Speaking of prey, we were it. That’s right, our own people, who had been ravished and zombie-fied by this terrible plague, turned back on us and hunted the humans who had yet to be infected.
Smell. Sounds. These things were on our minds as we huddled there in the dark in the corner of that strange barn. We knew the zombies acted mostly on instinct; they weren’t too smart. But then again, they weren’t too dumb, either. We’d seem zombies duck shots fired at them, and think things through in their seemingly insatiable quest for human flesh. They would attack strategically, looking for any weakness. If we were barricaded in the van, locking the doors on one side, they’d come around to the other side of a car to try the windows there. Luckily, the barn we were in was full of smells other than ourselves. The big pile of horse manure in the corner, for instance.
We had no choice but to try to find a way out of our predicament, while making as little noise as possible. The three zombies we knew of were growling and shuffling around toward the front of the barn again, while we crouched in the back. I began searching for any back door or window we could use as an escape route, and Risa, seeing what I was doing, began looking with me. We must have been about 8 feet apart, at the back wall of the barn, when the zombie we didn’t know was there jumped down from the loft and onto … me.
“AHHHHH!!!!!!” I yelled, startled, as I tumbled to the ground. Luckily, the zombie had fallen more than ten feet, so when it landed on me, it rolled off to the side and was momentarily stunned. I quickly scrambled to my feet and unholstered my shotgun, bringing it forward and leveling it at the figure on the ground.
Risa reacted quickly as well, bringing her the .33 up and training it on the creature. One thing we had learned fast in the last five years was not to hesitate. So I walked up to the figure that was starting to rise, and I fired at its head, the muzzle of my sawed off not a foot away. It quickly dropped to the ground and was still, but the shot, that had been deafening in the closed area, had alerted the other zombies to our presence.
We both looked up toward the barn door and heard the low growling become even more menacing, if that were at all possible.
“Oh, to heck with this,” I mumbled, and turning behind me, I shot out the nearest wooden board in the wall of the barn. With Risa covering me, I kicked out a hole large enough so we could get through. I scrambled through the 2-by-3-foot hole I’d made, and Risa emerged after me, with a zombie hot on her heels. The thing actually stuck its head through the hole, and stretched an arm out too, reaching. Big mistake. Huge.
Quickly holstering my shotgun, I brought my bowie knife up and then down, slashing the thing trying to eat us. The sharp blade sliced cleanly through its neck, and its head rolled free at Risa’s feet, dripping black blood. Hey, what can I say? I liked to keep my blades razor sharp.
“Oh, gross,” Risa said softly.
Laughing, I quickly switched back to my shotgun, reloading it in less than 30 seconds. “We need the men here,” I said, pointing my shotgun to the sky. I let off three rounds, at five second intervals. POP!! POP!! POP!! The shots echoed across the farmyard. We heard the growls stop on the other side of the barn wall, and then resume, sounding angrier than ever.
Looking around, I saw a small water tower on stilts, about three stories tall. We could climb the ladder and, if the zombies came, we’d be able to pick them off one by one. We’d be safe up there. Indicating it with a tilt of my head, I holstered my shotgun and we both trotted over to the ladder.
“Up you go,” I said, boosting her up. The water tower ladder started about 5 feet off the ground so we had to scramble a bit. The growls had faded away, but I was worried the zombies were going to come around the corner any minute. Boosting the skinny teenager up, I prepared to hoist myself up after her.
Then I heard the zombies growls, much closer than before. Without stopping to look around at the direction they were coming from, I jumped and grabbed the third rung and hoisted myself up, my foot catching the bottom rung on the first try. There was nothing like being hunted by zombies to hasten your climb up a ladder, I tell ya.
Risa and I clambered up to the ledge on the bottom of the large, barreled, wooden structure; it was 10-12 feet up. We stood on it, we didn’t want to sit and then have our legs dangling off the end out into possible grab territory. We waited.
We didn’t have long to wait. It was less than a minute after I started up the ladder that the first zombie shambled into view. It was a female, in an old housecoat that had seen better, non-zombie, days. It walked out into the open, not sure where we were, but definitely smelling us. It was followed by two more zombies, both male, one looked to be an old man and the other a middle aged man. It was almost funny to watch, because the old man zombie appeared to have been a bit crippled by old age before being infected, turned and subsequently infused with zombie strength. So what we were watching was a crooked old zombie that look arthritic, but moving pretty fast and not appearing in pain at all. These three zombies began a zigzag pattern, using their noses to find us.
They were about twenty feet away when things got really nasty. And by really nasty I mean that a dozen or more young zombies, of varying ages, came to join the adult zombies in their hunt for us humans. Apparently, this had been a pretty large family. It looked like a grandfather, a great grandfather, a mother, and at least a dozen youths ranging in age from around ten all the way up to early twenties. I suspected the father might have been one of the two I’d killed by the barn, but I wasn’t sure. Trying to count these things was useless, plus in the end, we couldn’t know how big the family had been, how many members there were. Heck, we could try to mentally calculate the whole family only to miss the Uncle Bob zombie or the Auntie Tweedie zombie or something. In this situation you just had to assess the threat as best you could and meet the danger head on as it came to you. Deal with the zombies you knew about, and never let down your guard.
“Shoot, where’s my extra ammo?” Risa said, fumbling in her side bag.
“I put it in the back pocket, there,” I pointed. I fumbled for my own ammo - we were going to need it. I located the box of cartridges in my side pouch and checked my shotgun. I was ready.
“Okay, hold my belt,” I said, and after Risa hooked her arm around the wooden structure and grabbed hold of the back of my belt, I leaned over and shot out the ladder. Good. Now they had no way of climbing up to us, I hoped.
We watched them come, both of us calm, holding our firearms at the ready. We’d been through over five years of this so we were somewhat used to it. This wasn’t even Risa’s first situation of this type. Three other times, we’d been trapped and either holed up or treed like cats and had to pick off zombies one by one to free ourselves. But this was the first time Risa and I had done it alone. I was really counting on her. Glancing sideways I asked, “You okay?”
Risa looked at me and nodded her head, a look of calm determination on her face. “Absolutely,” she said, then looked down on the advancing horde.

We later learned that Jacob had heard my three shots and had begun jogging through the trees toward our location. He was almost a mile and a half away, and there was underbrush to deal with, but he made pretty good time. He had slung his shotgun over his shoulder and was trotting steadily, zigzagging through the trees, following the sound of the shots.
DeAndre had heard the shots, too, but was a bit farther away - over the low hills and south of the water tower. The shots I’d fired sounded faint, but it was closing in on midnight and the night was very quiet and peaceful. The stars were brilliant, and together with the quarter moon, they stood watch as D hiked up through the foothills toward our location.

Risa and I stood there, waiting for the zombies to wander closer. My shotgun needed to be fired at close range to knock one out for good. I’d shot from several dozen feet away, and you just got a wide spread. The result was a zombie with a pitted, icky, gross, dripping-with-goo face. No, I would need to wait until they had closed within about 6 feet or less. But that was okay, we were up high. I figured we could pick them off one at a time. Unless by some miracle they decided to work together. I’d heard of this happening sometimes. I hoped it didn’t happen tonight.
“Here comes the first one,” Risa said, taking aim. The zombie shambled up to the water tower and looked up, its eyes all milky and its scalp shredded where it had apparently been bitten when it was a human. It looked like it had once been a teenage girl, maybe 16 or 17. It still wore pedal pushers and a flowery sweater. Growling at us, it stretched its arms upward and jumped, trying to catch the ledge we were on. Risa steadied her .33 and shot off a round: *POP* The bullet caught the zombie right in the temple; it dropped heavily to the ground and was still.
“Good shot!” I said. And then, “uh, oh,” as three more zombies began jumping for the ledge.
POP! I knocked another zombie down. It was taller than the first and had actually been able to slap its fingers to the edge of the wood when it jumped. Now it was slumped against one of the wooden stilts that supported the water tower. It would never jump again.
Risa tried to shoot a third zombie, but it was moving around more erratically and it was harder for her to get a bead on it. It took her four shots, but she finally nailed it in the head, and it fell to the ground.
The third of the closest zombies just growled and moaned as it looked up at us. I had no pity for the thing. If we were within reach it would not hesitate to attack us. And I did not hesitate. Lowering my shotgun muzzle and sighting down at it, I pulled the trigger and blasted the thing’s face off. It fell backward onto the ground and lay still.
I looked up to get an idea of what to expect next, and my eyes found the old man zombie approaching. It moved pretty fast - it probably hadn’t moved that fast when it was alive, for several decades. But now, in its crooked, arthritic, sideways shamble-hop, it was fast. And shrewd as well. Looking up at us and staying back a ways, it seemed to study us. Its eyes had not gone completely milky yet, and apparently it could see us. It was kind of creepy in a way, almost as if it was actually sentient.
“Will you look at that,” I said softly. At the sound of my voice, its gaze focused on me, and it cocked its head.
“Whoa!” I said, nearly losing my footing in surprise. The old man zombie seemed to notice this, and then it dropped its eyes down to study the area under our feet.
“I really don’t like the looks of that one,” Risa said. “It’s giving me the creeps.” I nodded. I didn’t like the looks of it either. But my attention was drawn to another wave of zombies trying to get at us. I blew three of them away in quick succession and then leaned back to reload. Risa was getting better with her .33, which was good. That gun was not terribly accurate at greater distances, so you had to wait until you had a clear shot at a zombie no more than ten feet away to have a really good chance of hitting it in the head and stopping it.
I finished reloading and covered Risa as she also reloaded. Sighting down the muzzle of my shotgun, I picked off two more zombies, then stopped to look up. The grandfather zombie had moved back a bit and was now about a dozen feet away from the base of the water tower. As I watched him, he all of a sudden let out a huge roar that made all the zombies stop all of a sudden. Then it grunted and growled and gestured and OH MY GOD IT WAS COMMUNICATING WITH THE OTHER ZOMBIES.
“Oh, this is not good,” I said.
“Oh my God. Oh my ever-loving God, what is happening?” Risa said.
There were maybe six zombies left, including the old man zombie and, believe it or not, they were in an informal huddle, looking like an amateur football team. Those zombies were concentrating their attention on the old man zombie, and he seemed to somehow be GIVING THEM INSTRUCTIONS.
“I don’t believe this,” I said. Looking around us, I saw that we were trapped like treed cats. “Listen, Risa. If this situation starts to go south, I want you to make a break for it, okay?”
“I won’t leave you, Alyssa,” Risa said.
“I’m not planning on becoming a martyr or anything, but I have a bad feeling about this and I ...,” I said.
“Alyssa, don’t even think that way. We will come out of this alive and we will find Luke,” Risa said.
Looking around again, I once again pointed my shotgun at the sky and let off three rounds about five seconds apart. I nodded to Risa and reloaded again. Risa nudged my arm, and when I looked up she gestured to the zombies. They were breaking apart slowly and something was happening.
They seemed to be a bit confused I thought, but then the old man zombie let out another loud roar and then hobble-charged right at us!
The other zombies followed him, and all of a sudden we had a small mob of half a dozen zombies rushing at our water tower. Risa and I could only watch as they came. Our guns pointed down, we wondered what was going on. This was not a good scenario at all. When dealing with zombies, I had always preferred to be on the side making the active decisions and controlling the game. Now they were calling the shots, executing some bizarre strategy from their zombie playbook.
We fired as they ran toward us. POP! POP!! POPPOPPOP!!
Two of the zombies fell to the ground, but four others just kept charging, in fact, they ran right under our ledge.
A split-second later we felt the water tower shudder and lean slightly before righting itself again. The zombies had hit the stilts holding us up. I couldn’t believe it. They had launched a coordinated attack and were trying to knock the water tower over to get at us.
“How on earth…?” I said. I didn’t have time to finish my sentence. They were still directly under us, pushing at the stilts in an effort to finish the job.
We teetered as the zombies below us pushed at the stilts. The water tower swung back and forth several times as we hung on to the wooden planks. Then for a few seconds, it stopped moving to the side and I thought perhaps the zombies had given up. But apparently they had just stepped back to gather their strength for another push, because all of a sudden the movement started again and it was worse than before. We hung on tightly to anything we could grab, but it was no use.
“Oh! OH!!” Risa said, as the water tower leaned alarmingly to the side.
“We’re going to have to jump! Come on!” I said, as the thing began to topple over.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop (Oct 19 - Oct 24)

It is time for the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop!  (Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and vvb32reads)
All books in this hop or either by Jane Austen, or influenced by a Jane Austen story.

I am giving away a copy of  Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely.  The giveaway runs until midnight on Oct 24th and is open to U.S. only.

A dedicated Anglophile and Janeite, Elizabeth Parker is hoping the trip to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will distract her from her lack ofa job and her uncertain future with her boyfriend, Peter.

On the plane ride to England, she and Aunt Winnie meet Professor Richard Baines, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Austen. His outlandish claims that within each Austen novel there is a sordid secondary story is second only to his odious theory on the true cause of Austen’s death. When Baines is found stabbed to death in his Mr. Darcy costume during the costume ball, it appears that Baines’s theories have finally pushed one Austen fan too far. But Aunt Winnie’s friend becomes the prime suspect, so Aunt Winnie enlists Elizabeth to find the  professor’s real killer. With an ex-wife, a scheming daughter-in-law, and a trophy wife, not to mention a festival’s worth of die-hard Austen fans, there are  no shortage of suspects.

This fourth in Tracy Kiely’s charming series is pure delight. If Bath is the number-one Mecca for Jane Austen fans, Murder Most Austen is the perfect read for those who love some laughs and quick wit with their mystery.

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Please enter all the other giveaways on the hop too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blog Tour: Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush (Book Review and Giveaway)

Title: Violet Midnight
Author: Lynn Rush
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

About the Book: Let the Hunt begin….

Blending in with her college co-eds proves difficult for vampire Hunter, Emma Martin, considering the mystical tattoo on her wrist glows whenever Vamps are near. And after three months of silence, the glow is back with a vengeance.

Jake Cunningham witnesses Emma, a violet-eyed beauty, using unimaginable powers to fight off a fanged creature. Finally, after two years of searching, he may have found out what he’s become—a Hunter, like Emma.

Thankful for an ally in the fight against the Vamps, Emma finds hope and comfort in Jake’s arms. As she learns more about her new love’s family and its dark heritage, she may be forced not only to hunt them but to sacrifice her life to save Jake’s soul.

***A portion of all proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness***

My thoughts: I liked the way that this book started out showing us immediately what Emma was capable of doing.  It also showed her loyalty to her friends and her willingness to take on the role that has been thrust upon her.  Unfortunately, this role has also kept her pretty isolated and not willing to let anyone in completely.

Then she meets Jake.  She is immediately drawn to him and they soon discover that they share some similarities in what they have been going through the past two years. Together they start to piece together the mystery that surrounds them.  They think that they are on the right track, but something in Jake's past is about to rear it's ugly head and they will need to make some choices that they believe are impossible.

This was a very fast read and the story takes place over only a couple of weeks, so the pace never seems to let up.  It is the beginning of the Violet Night Trilogy, so you are left with a couple of unanswered questions at the end.  It is a somewhat new take on Vampires for me, and that was a nice change!

~I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for my review.~

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About the author: Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake, and a portion of the proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness.

Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master's degree from the University of Iowa. Originally from Minneapolis, Rush currently enjoys living in the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of 16 years and jogging with her two loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.
Connect with Lynn:

Catch the Rush™ 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall into Fantasy Giveaway Hop (Oct 16 - 21)

It's time for the Fall Into Fantasy Giveaway Hop! This hop is being hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Write Path. This hop is all about Fantasy books! Each blog is either giving away a fantasy book or giving a gift card to allow the purchase of a fantasy book!

My giveaway is for a paperback copy of Dark Moon by Steve Feasey.

"There is very little sand left in my brother's hourglass, and when the final grain has fallen, I shall simply walk into his world and wreak havoc on those that sided with him against me."

A few short months ago, Trey Laporte learned the news that would change him forever: He is a werewolf, and the evil vampire Caliban wants him dead. The threat becomes real when Caliban attacks Trey's mentor, Lucien Charron, and leaves him fighting for his life.

Gwendolin, a wicked sorceress, holds the only key to saving Lucien. Together, Trey and Lucien's beautiful daughter, Alexa, must enter the Netherworld to defeat her. The pressure for Trey is great -- Alexa is counting on him to save her father.

But when Trey and Alexa find themselves trapped and surrounded by demons, can Trey use his werewolf strength to save them both?

All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter form below.

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Be sure to visit all the other hops on the tour also!

It's Monday! What are you reading? (Oct 15, 2012)

What are you reading on Mondays is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey - You can hook up with the Mr. Linky there with your own post - but be sure and let me know what you are reading too! 

Current Giveaways:

Upcoming giveaways - this week:
Fall Into Fantasy Hop (Oct 16 - 21)
Jane Austen Giveaway Hop (Oct 19 - 24)

Currently reading this week: 
Conjure by Lea Nolan
Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush

Upcoming books:
Tears Water the Seeds of Hope by Kim Tews
Mad World: Sanctuary by Samaire Provost

Bathroom Book:

Books reviewed last week: 
The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Renee Anderson
War Stories by Elisabeth Doyle
The Most Dangerous by Terri Fields
Heaven Should Fall by Rebecca Coleman

Books read and needing to be reviewed:
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray

Until next week ----  Ready - Set - Read!

Mailbox Monday (Oct 15, 2012)

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books.  This is where I share the titles I have received for review or purchased during the past week.  Mailbox Monday will be hosted in October by Marcia!

Christmas Roses
by Amanda Cabot

Celia Anderson doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a traveling carpenter finds lodging at her boardinghouse, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man -- the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas It would take a miracle, though, to find roses during a harsh Wyoming winter.

But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles. . .

The Christmas Pony
by Melody Carlson

With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.

It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy's world changes forever.

Big Maria
by Johnny Shaw

Somewhere in Arizona's Chocolate Mountains lie the Big Maria Mine and a wealth of gold lost for a hundred years. There's only one problem: those mountains are now the home of the US Army Proving Ground, the world's largest active artillery range. But for Harry, Ricky, and Frank, three down-at-the-heels guys with few dollars but plenty of dreams, the gold offers each of them a chance for a new life.

Are scuba diving through an underwater ghost town; facing down a hungry mountain lion; doing the hesitation waltz across a minefield; matching wits with potheads, pit bulls, and bikers; and braving the might of Uncle Sam's full arsenal worth it? With little more than a samurai sword, a severed head, and an impractical amount of optimism, these intrepid soldiers of (mis)fortune are about to find out.

The Walnut Tree
by Charles Todd

"I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized."

In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas's life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine's dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast.

Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspeth -- daughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots -- decides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her.

To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads her to safety. But before they can properly say good-bye, Elspeth and Peter are separated.

Back in London, surrounded by familiar comforts, Elspeth is haunted by the horrors she witnessed in France. She also cannot forget the gallant Peter Gilchrist, even though she has promised herself to Alain.

Transformed by her experience, Elspeth goes to London and enrolls in a nursing course, where she meets a fellow nurse in training, Bess Crawford. It is a daring move, made without the consent of Elspeth's guardian, her cousin Kenneth, a high-handed man with rigid notions of class and femininity.

Yet Elspeth Douglas is a woman with a mind of her own, which -- as she herself says -- is a blessing and a curse. She is determined to return to the battlefields of France to do her part. . . and to find the man she has no right to love, no matter how far Cousin Kenneth may go to stop her. But before she can set things right with Alain, he goes missing and then Peter is gravely wounded. In a world full of terror and uncertainty, can the sweetness of love survive or will Elspeth's troubled heart become another casualty of this terrible war?

A poignant, compelling tale brimming with adventure, danger, and love, The Walnut Tree is an enchanting holiday gift and a wonderful companion to Charles Todd's acclaimed Bess Crawford series.

What books came home to you this week?

Blog Tour: Heaven Should Fall by Rebecca Coleman

Title: Heaven Should Fall
Author: Rebecca Coleman
Publisher: Harlequin/Mira

About the book: Alone since her mother's death, Jill Wagner wants to eat, sleep and breathe Cade Olmstead when he bursts upon her life -- golden, handsome and ambitious.  Even putting college on hold feels like a minor sacrifice when she discovers she's pregnant with Cade's baby.  But it won't be the last sacrifice she'll have to make.

Retreating to the Olmsteads' New England farm seems sensible, if not ideal: they'll regroup and welcome the baby, surrounded by Cade's family.  But the remote, ramshackle place already feels crowded.  Cade's mother tends to his ailing father, while Cade's pious sister, her bigoted husband and their rowdy sons overrun the house.  Only Cade's brother, Elias, a combat veteran with a damaged spirit, gives Jill an ally amidst the chaos, along with a glimpse into his disturbing childhood.  But his burden is heavy, and she alone cannot kindle his will to live.

The tragedy of Elias is like a killing frost, withering Cade in particular, transforming his idealism into bitterness and paranoia.  Taking solace in caring for her newborn son, Jill looks up to find her golden boy is gone.  In Cade's place is a deperate man willing to endanger them all in the name of vengeance. . . unless Jill can find a way out.

My thoughts: Rebecca Coleman has done it once again. She has taken what appears to be a normal college kids and a New England family and has laid them bare and shown us all their flaws.  The thing that I find amazing about her writing is how, when she writes about these flaws, she makes them appear seemingly normal.  The issues that are raised, in this case, most notably, the lack of assistance to returning soldiers, stay with you and resurface long after the book has ended.  

Cade has tried to keep Jill separated from his family, but circumstances no longer enable him to keep them separated.  The circumstances have actually thrown them all together on a New England farm.  Jill and Cade, along with Cade's sister Candy, her husband and three boys; his brother Elias, recently home from a tour in Afghanistan, and Cade's mom and dad.  Whew - talk about crowded!  And as I mentioned before, this isn't really a normal family.  

Cade's dad was once the meanest guy in the county - part of the reason Cade left and hadn't returned - but he has had a series of strokes which has mellowed him out some, but left him dependent on Leela, his wife.  Candy and Dodge are not your normal couple.  Candy very much fits her name, and Dodge, being much older, has always been able to take advantage of her to his benefit.  Cade, being back in this environment, also begins to be swayed by Dodge and his warped view of life.   Elias, suffering from PTSD, makes an unhealthy connection with Jill, which only adds to the tragedy.  

I loved The Kingdom of Heaven and this one is a close second to it.  If you are a fan of "happily ever after"  then I would have to tell you to avoid this book!  Of course, if you have a little bit of a sadistic bent that you allow out in your readings, then pick this one up next!

Please enjoy this excerpt as part of Book Trib's Blog Tour/Scavenger Hunt and check out their website to follow the whole tour! 

As Elias extracted himself from the hug and made his way out of the line, I watched him. He was shorter than Cade by a couple of inches, and stockier; his face offered none of the animation that lit Cade’s, but his blue eyes, like his brother’s, were piercing. His expression was more or less the same as the one he wore in the photo. When he looked at me I felt as if he had been watching me all this time, all these months I’d been with Cade, a witness to my secrets. I felt embarrassed when he shook my hand.

Heaven Should Fall
Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin, Sept 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1389-2
368 pages

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Most Dangerous by Terri Fields (Book Review and Author Interview)

Title: The Most Dangerous
Author: Terri Fields
Illustrator: Laura Jacques
Publisher: Sylvan Dell

About the Book: Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the "Most Dangerous Animal of All" Contest.  Snakes, spiders, sharks. . . who will the winner be?  Deadly poison, huge teeth, razor-sharp horns, and fearsome feet are just a few of the ways that animals kill.  Predators mean to kill.  Prey simply defend themselves.  And yet, the unexpected "Most Dangerous Animal" doesn't mean any harm!  Don't let the suspense kill you.

My thoughts:  What kid doesn't like scary looking animals? (in the pages of a book, of course!)   This book is full of them.  As well as interesting facts about each one of them.  From the great white shark, to the Brazilian wandering spider to - hold on to your hats - the mosquito! (Okay, you laugh, but who doesn't cover themselves in bug spray, swat the little buggers and do what they can not to get bit?!)  Well, in addition to the facts there is also a cute story about all of the animals gathering together to see who will be declared "The Most Dangerous".  There are great illustrations as well.  In the back of the book is a section that gives some more information on how some animals kill their prey and whether or not they are prey or predator.  You also get a world map that shows where the animals discussed in the book live.

Blog Tour information for The Most Dangerous

October 5th
October 8th
October 9th
October 10th
October 11th

October 13th
While not on a blog, on October 13th, I’ll be doing a workshop at Worlds of Words at the University of Arizona.  The event is held on Saturday mornings from 10:00-12:00, and draws children and families.  If you’re in the Tucson area, do come!

About the author:  Award-winning author Terri Fields' many books include The Most Dangerous and Burro's Tortillas for Sylvan Dell, as well as early chapter books and young adult novels.  Her books have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children's Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public School, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest books of the Year List, and named the One Book Arizona.  In addition to writing, she is also an educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation's top educators.  Visit her website at www.terrifields.com

About the illustrator:  Award-winning illustrator Laura Jacques is passionate about illustrating children's books that focus on natural history, wildlife, and environmental awareness for children.  Her books have won several honors and awards, including "NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children" sponsored by the Children's Book Council and the "KIND Children's Book Award" sponsored by the Association for Humane and Environmental Education, a division of the Humane Society of the United States. For more information, visit Laura's website: www.laurajacques.com. 

Terri kindly stopped by and answered some questions for me!  Please enjoy her answers!

1. How do you typically write? Do you plot it all out beforehand or do you just let the story pour out? 
In a picture book, it’s very easy for me to know exactly where it’s going. However, in my two YA novels, Holdup and My Father’s Son, I wasn’t sure, myself, how they would end. I knew I wanted both books to have kind of twist at the end, but exactly what? I struggled and struggled. I wrote and rewrote a lot!

2. Do you have a favorite place to write or “must haves” while writing? Because I began writing and being published when I had two children and a full-time job as a teacher, I learned to write whenever and wherever I had a spare minute.

3. Do you have much say in the title or covers of you books? 
 Sometimes I do, and sometimes, I don’t have any say. In one book, the main character had bright red curly hair. I didn’t see the cover until I got my author’s copies, and to my surprise, the artist had drawn her with straight black hair. I got lots of letters from kids asking why. However, I do love the cover of my newest book The Most Dangerous.

4. Was there anything (or anyone) while growing up which helped you decide you wanted to be a writer?
 I am so lucky that my mother loved to read and began to take me to the library before I ever started school. I thought I was so grown up when I was finally old enough to get my very own library card! It seemed a natural extension from loving to read stories to wanting to write my own.

5. Do you have a favorite quote? 
 “Think you can or think you can’t; either way, you’re right!”

6. In one sentence, why should we read your book? 
 Snakes, spiders, sharks…deadly poison, huge teeth, razor sharp horns; which is the most dangerous animal—the suspense ends with quite a surprise.

7. How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books? 
 I wrote for adults until my then six-year-old son insisted I write something “good,” which translated to something for kids. My son claims he’s the one who inspired my change in writing direction, and nineteen published books later, he still looks for his name in each dedication.

8. Is there anything else that you would like my readers to know?
 As a former teacher, I’m always excited to see a book that is a fun-to-read tale for kids and also a launch pad for discussion and further learning. The Most Dangerous has a host of interactive curricular activities at its end and on the Sylvan Dell website.

9. What else is new about this book?
 It’s the first of my books to be simultaneously brought out in Spanish, hardback, paperback, and e-book.

10. What’s a vivid memory you have as an author? 
I love doing school visits, and I’ve done hundreds of them throughout the US and other countries. In one of them, I worked a lot with one of my YA books entitled After the Death of Anna Gonzales, which is a book about a girl who commits suicide because she thinks no one will even notice. I later got a letter from a girl at the school I’d worked with saying After the Death of Anna Gonzales had saved her friend’s life.

11. Do you have any hidden talents? 
 I’m sure I must, but they have remained hidden.

12. If you could live in a literary world - what world would that be and why? 
 Oh, just one! How could I pick? Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to travel to a different one each week! Actually, when I get really involved in a book, I feel as if I’ve done just that!

The Most Dangerous
Publisher/Publication Date
ISBN: 978-1-60718-5352
Ages 4-9


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