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

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good Bye for Now

I have put off writing this blog post for at least a week, and have been thinking about it for much longer than that.

In 2008 I was in my fourth year as a stay-at-home mom and was really starting to go a little crazy.  I wanted to find a book club, but couldn't find anything locally that met at a time that worked for me - so I went online to try to find an online club and discovered book challenges!  I was hooked and started this blog in August of 2008 so I would have someplace to post my challenges.  Well, this quickly led into reviewing ARC's and as much as I have tried every year to do some book challenges, by August they are long forgotten in the overwhelming pile of ARC's that I have to review.

In 2011 I went back to work part time at my son's school library.  This got me out of the house and back into the "semi" adult world - as I was working at a K-2 school.  Then in August of this year, I started working a second part time job at our local library.  I love both of these positions for different reasons and hope that I can stay at both for many years to come.  Unfortunately that second job has taken a lot more time than I realized it would and blogging has suffered because of it.   I also volunteer a few hours every week at the school my son is at now - either in the library, for the hot lunch meals, or for their "Pride Store" where they can purchase small prizes for tickets they have earned.

I have been left feeling totally overwhelmed and burnt out. Oh, and  probably the most important thing that I hope will be happening in January is that I was accepted into UIS's online liberal arts/English program and hope to FINALLY finish my bachelor's degree.  So something's gotta give - and for now, that something is blogging.  This has been such a part of my life for the last five years that it is hard to say goodbye - even if it may only be for a little while.

I must say though, that finding new books to read actually sounds exciting to me again. The thought that I can read ANYTHING and it can take AS LONG AS I WANT and I DON'T HAVE TO REVIEW IT if I don't want to is very appealing!  My TBR list is longer than I ever thought it could possibly get!

I appreciate so much all the publishers, tour hosts, and authors who have offered me books over the years and hope to be in touch again in the future as my youngest grows up and my oldest ones move on. I also want to say thank you to all the readers and followers who have read my blog over the years and shared their blogs with me - maybe now I will be able to visit your blogs more!

So this is goodbye for now. Who knows - maybe after a little time off I will feel like doing some promoting and start doing cover reveals and book blitzes again - or maybe if I fall in love with a book in my TBR pile I will give it a review and a shout out.  The thing that got me blogging in the first place will probably pull me back in next year as all the new challenges come out!  Who knows?  The reading world is my oyster!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Promo and Giveaway: As the World Dies Untold Tales by Rhiannon Frater







As the World Dies: Untold Tales
 by Rhiannon Frater 
Adult, Horror, Zombies

Synopsis Volume 1:
THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country. But theirs is not the only tale to be told. In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…

On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…

And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…


THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country. FIGHTING TO SURVIVE: AS THE WORLD DIES continued their story as the two women joined the members of the makeshift fort in Ashley Oaks in the fight for survival against not only zombies, but the evil designs of bandits.

But theirs is not the only tale to be told.

In the second volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

In a nearby town Ken and Lenore have started their regular routine at Ken’s Beauty Salon. A terrible accident brings the undead plague to their front door and soon the best friends are scrambling to escape their overrun town…

Katarina is just finishing her shift at a roadside cafĂ© when a badly injured man stumbles through the front door. She quickly realizes that to survive she must learn to kill…

And finally, a trapped family must face the fearsome truth that sometimes zombies are not the worst monster they have to fear as the world dies…




In the third volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Returning to Texas after celebrating his divorce in Vegas, Rune, a biker cursed with the ability to see ghosts, discovers that the world is being taken over by the hungry undead. Soon he realizes he will have to depend on all his abilities to survive not only the ravenous zombies, but the dangerous men lurking on the back roads of Texas.

Senator Paige Brightman abandoned the Madison Mall and its inhabitants to the hungry hordes, but her journey did not end there. Her attempt to reach the president’s safe haven called Central has far reaching ramifications for her and the people she abandoned.

The final in the three stories reveals the aftermath of the great battle in SIEGE as one woman faces the ultimate decision whether to live or die in a world of the undead.


Purchase Links: 

  




About the author: Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets).  She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.  

Author Links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Pinterest / gmail



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Cover Reveal: Beneath Manhattan Skies by Emma Meade


Beneath Manhattan Skies
 by Emma Meade 
Publication date: November 2013
New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.

Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?

(A 45,000 word Novella).







AUTHOR BIO: Emma Meade writes paranormal fiction. She lives in rainy Ireland and loves all things supernatural. Stephen King's The Stand is one of her most loved books and she's lost count of the number of times she's read L.J. Smith's trilogy, The Forbidden Game.

Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.

She is not ashamed to admit that Dirty Dancing and Twilight make her top ten movie list but wishes to point out that The Last of the Mohicans, Reality Bites, Dead Poets Society, Stand by Me and The Goonies are in there too.

Writing supernatural stories & watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Author Links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cover Reveal: Entrusted by Connie Ann Michael


Entrusted
Connie Ann Michael
Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 18 November, 2013

Thrust into a world of Native American legends about Skinwalkers and Ancient Ones, Emma Hunter finds herself in the middle of a battle for a heart holding great powers – A heart hidden within her.

Seventeen-year-old Emma wants what every teenage girl wants: a life that revolves around school, her friends, and a boyfriend who only has eyes for her. Little does she know that in order to get one, she must sacrifice the other two. After a series of events put into motion by Luke, the boy she thought loved her, Emma is kicked out of her group home and her school. Her best friend mysteriously vanishes and now she’s forced to move to a secluded coastal town, where she hopes to escape Luke’s obsessive control.  Instead, she finds her dreams invaded not only by Luke, but Solomon, a mysterious Native American warrior sent to protect her. 

But when Solomon shows up in her reality to explain he’s her protector, she soon learns that he’s so much more. As Emma struggles to understand what’s happening to her, she must also deal with her undeniable attraction to Solomon. Their connection is stronger than anything Emma has ever experienced before and now she must decide: can she trust him with her heart? And just how far will she go to protect it?





About the author:  Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides in a speck of a town in Central Washington State.  She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books.  She loves the outdoors and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family.  Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.

Author Links: 
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Google + / Goodreads







Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Haunted Open House Giveaway Blog Hop (Oct 23 - 30)



Welcome to the Haunted Open House Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Nancy Gideon!

I love love love scary books!  When I was a teen we didn't have a YA/Teen section, so I was left reading Stephen King and John Saul in junior high and high school.  I was probably the only 8th grader with a membership to Doubleday Book Club (remember that?) just to get the latest Stephen King book!  Some of my favorites were The Shining, Cujo, It and from John Saul - Suffer the Children, Punish the Sinners, Cry for the Strangers, and When the Wind Blows. I couldn't get enough of them!  

These days, of course, you have all the paranormal authors filling in the YA shelves like Maggie Stiefvater, Kiersten White, Cassandra Clare, Melissa de la Cruz.  I still think that Stephen King is the "King" of Horror though and haven't found an author I like better, so for my giveaway, I am offering any book from Book Depository under $15.00 by my favorite, Stephen King - or a horror/paranormal book that is by your favorite author.  The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere that Book Depository will ship.

So enter my giveaway through the rafflecopter below - and then check out all the other great giveaways in the hop!


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Twisted by KayCee R


twistedTitle: Twisted
Author: KayCee R

About the book: Cayden Rivers wants nothing more than to be normal, but we don’t always get what we want. For years he has been hiding a secret, afraid of being labeled a “freak”. Every day he goes to school, plays football, spends time with his girlfriend, and helps carry his drunken adopted father to bed. Nobody knows the truth about his unnatural speed and strength, including his life-long friend Camilla.

Suddenly, four strangers enter Cayden’s life, and not only do they know his secret, they also have one of their own. With their help, Cayden discovers there is more to his power, something much more dangerous. Something other people will kill to possess.

Camilla wishes her parents were around more. She gets lonely sleeping in her big empty house night after night. Sure, she has all the money she could ever need, but the only person who is there for her is Cayden. He has his own family and a girlfriend who takes up most of his time, so Camilla knows he won’t be there for her forever, and recently he’s been acting really strange.

Will Cayden be able to keep his secret and his friendship with Camilla, or will his new found power destroy everything, including his own life?

Switching between Cayden and Camilla's point of view, Twisted will leave you aching for more.



Purchase Links:
 

My thoughts: I must admit that to me this book started out kind of slow.  I nearly put it down as I didn't think I was going to be able to stick with it.  But I did and am glad.  Once it picked up I became invested in the characters a bit more. 

Cayden seemed like a sweetheart, even though I think he was a little dense when it came to his love life.  He did seem to mature in other ways during the course of the story though.  He went from having to keep the largest part of his life a secret to being able to share it with his family and close friend. Along the way though he finds family he never knew he had as well as discovers new powers.  He finds out that he may have enemies because of these powers, so it is even more important to keep them hidden. 

I liked the relationship between Cayden and Camilla.  The strong friendship and how they are both fighting feelings for each other that run deeper. 

Even with the slow start, the book picked up and once rolling along kept up the speed.  I would probably pick up the second book in the series as there is still a lot about Cayden and his family that remains a mystery.  

~I received a complimentary eCopy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.~


kayceeAbout the author: KayCee is a 24 year old self-published author from Cleveland, Ohio. KayCee has always loved reading. After a re-occurring dream she decided to try writing about it. She wrote the first installment of Twisted when she was 20.

“I kept having this dream about these twins, and then I just decided to run with it. I wrote the beginning, the end, and then filled in the middle.”

KayCee finished the book in 8 months and then decided to share the book online. After seeing people get interested in the book and the characters, she decided to write another book and turn Twisted into a series.

KayCee has finished four novels in the Twisted series and is currently working on the fifth book.

Author Links:


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/4/13

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twisted tour


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Big Numbers by Jack Getze


Big Numbers
(Austin Carr Mystery)
by Jack Getze

Root for divorced dad Austin Carr, a funny, oversexed scamp who'll use anything and everything to get his kids back. Think Bugs Bunny with guns and a penis.
                           
Divorced dad Austin Carr wakes up every day in a beat-up camper, parked on someone else’s private property. Why? Because his alimony and child support payments were established by New Jersey’s family court system when his income was double, and for the last two years he has failed to earn the legally mandated monthly nut. He’s had his savings drained, his Maxima repossessed, his salary attached, and his visiting rights suspended. He bought the twelve-year-old Chevy pick-up with the rusty camper for $800 last month because another landlord tossed his butt in the street. Will stretching the rules, his own morals, and the boundaries of common sense raise the cash needed to get his kids back? Or will his bad behavior set him up for a nasty double-cross? Find out if Austin can redeem himself and win back his children.



Purchase Links:
 



My thoughts:  This book is marketed as a cozy mystery, and while those books have their fair share of humor, this one tops them all.  You know the saying "If it wasn't for Bad Luck, I'd have no Luck at all?"  Well that sums up Austin Carr.  His income has tanked, he has lost most of his material possessions because of it.  He lives in a rusty camper and can't see his kids - which is what he wants more than anything.  When the story starts out you think this is just a deadbeat dad, sort of homeless, alcoholic.  But, in spite of all that he has a heart that makes you love him - you just can't help it!

This is a very quick moving book, with lots of twists as a mystery should have - but it will definitely keep you laughing!  I found it very entertaining, quick to read, and though it is a mystery - it also has a light hearted feel to it.  It is a fun book to the beginning of a new series.  Can't wait to see what other troubles Austin will get in to!


~I received a complimentary ecopy of Big Numbers from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~



About the author: Former Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. Through the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Syndicate, his news and feature stories were published in over five-hundred newspapers and periodicals worldwide. His two screwball mysteries, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, are being reissued by DOWN & OUT BOOKS, with the new BIG MOJO to follow. His short stories have appeared in A Twist of Noir and Beat to a Pulp. Getze is an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America’s New York Chapter.

Author Links:

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Blast and Giveaway: Brood X by Michael Phillip Cash


Brood X
by Michael Phillip Cash

Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder. 

During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) are expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast. Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade. 


During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone. Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed. Fast paced and filled with tension, Brood Ten is the perfect summer read when you’re sitting outside listening to the cicadas sing.




Purchase Links:






About the author: Born and raised on Long Island, Michael Phillip Cash has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children. Stillwell: A Haunting On Long Island is his second novel.

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Pump Up Your Book and Michael Phillip Cash are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a Halloween Party Pack for 18!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or the Halloween Party Pack.
  • This giveaway begins September 23 and ends October 25, 2013.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 4, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Promo: Black Dog by Stephen Booth



Black Dog

by Stephen Booth

on Tour October 8 - November 8, 2013






Book Details:

Genre: Fiction/Crime
Published by: Witness / HarperCollins
Publication Date: 10/8/2013
ISBN: 9780062301963
Series: 1st in the Ben Cooper & Diane Fry Series
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

The helicopters are halted. The search for fifteen-year-old Laura Vernon ends when her body is found, murdered, in the forest.

On his hunt for the killer, detective Ben Cooper begins to suspect the people of Derbyshire are guarding some dark secrets-secrets that Laura might have known. Further complicating his investigation, Cooper is paired with an unfamiliar partner: Diane Fry, a woman as tenacious as she is alluring. Together they learn that in order to understand the town’s present, they must unearth its past.

Black Dog is like Twin Peaks by way of Tana French, and the first novel in the multiple award-winning Cooper and Fry series.


Read an excerpt:

The spot where Ben Cooper stood was remote and isolated. A passing walker wouldn't have been able to see him up here among the bracken, even if he'd bothered to look up.

Cooper turned round, wafting his hand across his face against the flies. He was looking through the trees and thick brambles as if towards the end of a dark tunnel, where the figure of Harry Dickinson was framed in a network of branches. Cooper had to squint against a patch of dazzling light that soaked the hillside in strong colours. The old man stood in the glare of the low sun, with hot rocks shimmering around him like a furnace. The haze of heat made his outline blur and writhe, as if he were dancing a slow shimmy. His shadow, flung across the rocks, seemed to wriggle and jerk as its shape fragmented among the bracken and brambles.

The expression in Harry's eyes was unreadable, his face lying partly in the shade from the peak of his cap. Cooper couldn't even tell which way he was looking, whether he'd turned away or was staring directly towards him in the trees. He wanted to grab the old man by the shoulders and shake him. He wanted to tell him that somebody had disturbed this spot, and recently. The evidence was right there for anyone to see, and to smell.

There had been two people here, and at least one of them had been looking for more than just rabbits. The smell that lingered under the trees was of stale blood. And the flies had found something even more attractive than Cooper's sweat to feed on.

Author Bio:

Stephen Booth is an award winning British crime writer, the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in twelve novels set in England’s beautiful and atmospheric Peak District.

Stephen has been a Gold Dagger finalist, an Anthony Award nominee, twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, and twice shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year. Ben Cooper was a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author, and in 2003 the Crime Writers’ Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library Award for “the author whose books have given readers the most pleasure”.

The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into 15 languages. The latest title is DEAD AND BURIED, with a new book, ALREADY DEAD, published in June 2013.

Catch Up With the Author:




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Book Blitz, Guest Post and Giveaway: Escape in You by Rachel Schurig



Escape in You
by Rachel Schurig
Publication Date: Oct 15, 2013
Contemporary, NA

Jet Taylor is the quintessential bad boy. A womanizer. A fighter. Dangerous. The type of guy most girls do their best to avoid. But Zoe Janes is no saint herself. In fact, she sees in Jet the perfect opportunity to distract herself from her responsibilities at home and the mistakes that keep her trapped there. He’s gorgeous, likes to party, and is clearly only interested in having fun—just like Zoe. But the more time they spend together the harder it is to stick to her “fun only” mantra. Jet is getting under her skin, making her believe things could actually be different. She knows they’re both trapped by the sins of their past but Jet is starting to make her think freedom might actually be possible. And that makes him the most dangerous boy of all.


Purchase Links:

 

Character Flaws
by Rachel Schurig

If I think about my favorite characters, whether from books, television shows, or movies, I find that they usually have something in common: I have a soft spot for flawed characters.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I have a thing for jerky guys or bratty girls. But I also find myself pretty much automatically turned off if a character is too perfect. For me, there needs to be a balance. Too many flaws and a character comes across as nasty or hopeless. But no flaws? Chances are I’ll tune right out, assuming the character is a bland goodie-two-shoes. A good balance, on the other hand, makes a character relatable. More interesting. The kind of person I want to root for.

The Notebook is one of my favorite movies of all time. Duh, right? Ryan Gosling is totally swoon-worthy as Noah Calhoun. Noah’s relationship with Allie (played by Rachel McAdams) is pretty much perfect—even though neither character is perfect. Allie is spoiled and really hot-headed. Noah is arrogant and has a temper to match Allie’s. The two fight like crazy (but isn’t it the best when they make up?). I think those flaws make the characters more interesting, more relatable. And I absolutely love how they make each other better. Isn’t that the hallmark of a great love story?

The characters in my new novel, Escape in You, are definitely flawed. Both Jet Taylor and Zoe Janes are hiding things about their pasts. They both deal with a lot of pain in their home lives. And, over the years, both have escaped their pain through alcohol, fighting, partying, and meaningless sex. They’ve hurt people who care about them and hurt themselves even more. But, as their relationship grows, they make each other better. Both become calmer. Less volatile. Stronger. Falling in love makes them realize how much they’ve been missing by hiding from life. My hope is that readers will enjoy watching them change and grow and fall in love—and will appreciate their imperfections just as much as I do.


About the author: Rachel Schurig lives in the metro Detroit area with her dog, Lucy. She loves to watch reality TV and she reads as many books as she can get her hands on. In her spare time, Rachel decorates cakes. Her THREE GIRLS series is available now from Amazon!

Author Links:








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