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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Author: Darren Shan
Title: Zom-B
Publication: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readerse
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3 out 5
Source: Borrowed 

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's racist father thinks it's a joke-- but even if it isn't, he figures, it's ok to lose a few Irish.
B doesn't fully buy into Dad's racism, but figures it's easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. And when dodging his fists doesn't work, B doesn't hesitate to take the piss out of kids at school with a few slaps or cruel remarks. 
That is, until zombies attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers. 

Thoughts:This takes the cake; I can honestly say I have never ever in my life read anything like this. As my first introduction to this author, who I would learn later has a tendency to kill at will, my jaw stay on the floor a lot throughout my reading experience. Forgive me if I'm still in a state of jumbled shock. Wow! Gory, gruesome, many words, yet I am speechless. The writing is well paced and story is weird with unexpected twists. The zombies in this book are more calculating and seem to be organized for some purpose but no one believes it's real. They think it some kind of hoax until one is severing their head in two and devouring their organs. Though this is about zombies, the main focus seems to fall onto B's parental relationship. The father in this book is extremely racist and physically abusive to his wife and child. B struggles with trying to please him and doing what's right but the simmering anger and hatred seems to win out each time. Overall, okay read for zombie lovers and if I can get past the creepiness of it, I will be reading the next one. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Post: Rune: A Tale of Wizards and Kings by CC Rogers

Author and Illustrator: CC Rogers
Genere: Graphic Novel, Comic Book
Pages: 158
Audience: Young Adult



500 years after their banishment, the legendary evil known as the Jinn have returned to the kingdom of Valheigh. A vengeful wizard unleashes the most horrific curse of Jinn legend such that Prince Rune must either kill woman he loves or die at her hands. 

Meet Rune:

Prince Rune does not want to be king. Unlike those who would murder him for the throne, he values the well-being of his subjects above his own and knows that ruling is a difficult task. What he really wants is love and a family, especially since he has lost both of his own parents. 

After a nine year absence, he returns to his homeland on the eve of his 21st birthday and must make choices that affect his kingdom's fate as well as his own. 

Behind the Scenes:
CC Rogers illustrated Rune using CGI technology, including rendered 3D computer models.

Author Bio:
CC Rogers is the wife of a supportive husband, the mother of two wonderful children and the creator of Rune: a Tale of Wizards and Kings. A software engineer who fell in love with making 3D art using DAZ Studio, CC recognized that she could use DAZ to make sequential art. In 2008 she collaborated with Diana Laurence to make a short comic in the Bloodchained universe. She published Rune online as a webcomic starting in 2010 and in 2012 she completed the story and collected it in a graphic novel. 

Purchase Information:

  • The e-book of Rune: A Tale of Wizards and Kings is available for free. Visit for more information.
  • Print copies are available for purchase at IndyPlanet

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers

Authors: James Roberts, Nick Roche

Title: Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers
Publication: March 6, 2012
Publisher: IDW
Genre: Action, Adventure. Comic Book
Pages: 172
Audience: 16 and up
Rating: 5 of 5
Source: Purchased

Synopsis(from Amazon):
The Autobot special ops crew, The Wreckers, are sent to investigate Garrus-9, a prison that fell to the Decepticons three years ago with no communication in or out since. Who's really behind the prison siege, and what dark secret awaits Springer there? The answers to those questions will send this mission to the razors edge!

My thoughts:

I didn’t grow up with Transformers, so I missed out on the campy 80's cartoon, which is fine because I was and still am a Ninja Turtles kid. All the same I’ve been getting in to Transformers lately and since I have loved what IDW has been doing with the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles this year, I decided to see how well the “Robots in the disguise” transformed (see what I did there?) in to comics. I started with Last Stand of The Wreckers because even though it takes place kind of deep in the Transformers storyline, it focuses on mostly background characters, and is a stand alone story. I wouldn’t be lost as to what’s going on.  Last Stand of The Wreckers somehow took big colorful robots, and put them in a story that was action packed, funny, gritty, sad, and thought provoking, and it worked. This book makes you ask yourself, "If I had the chance to live my biggest dream even though it could mean the end of everything, would I do it?" I loved this book and recommend it to any Transformers fan, but if your all together new to Transformers you may want to wait on this one.


Friday, October 26, 2012


Author: Ian Falconer
Illustrator: Ian Falconer
Title: Olivia
Publication: October 1, 2000
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children's
Pages: 40
Audience: 2 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Public Library

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  
Have fun with Olivia... dressing up, singing songs, building sand castles, napping (maybe), dancing, painting on walls and - whew! - going to sleep at last.

My thoughts:
I've heard about the television show, I've seen the stuffed animals, and I've seen all the books at various retail locations. I had not read Olivia until recently. I can now see why she is so popular. She is one very busy pig with a huge, sassy personality. I loved the main colors of the book were black, white, and red. It made images really pop. Of course, I loved the Olivia. She was such a hoot and I could see myself in her at times. If you have young girls in your life I suggest sharing Olivia with them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Excerpt & Giveaway: Corktown by Ty Hutchinson

Title: Corktown (Abby Kane Novel)
Genre and Age Group: Mystery/Thriller/Adult
Author: Ty Hutchinson
Release date: October 20, 2012

Amazon|Goodreads|Author Blog|Facebook

The Doctor Is Back.
In the quiet Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, a mutilated body has the residents nervous and for good reason. Detroit Metro Police recognize the handiwork of the serial killer known as the Doctor. But there’s a problem with that. They locked him up seven years ago.
Because of her expertise with serial killers, former hotshot detective and now FBI agent, Abby Kane, is tasked with figuring out how this madman is able to kill again. When she visits The Doctor behind bars, he swears he’s innocent and not the psychopath everyone thinks he is. Oddly enough, Abby believes him.
Corktown dives headfirst into the grit of Detroit, exposing the government corruption and deadly violence that has haunted the city for decades.

To be honest, I never had many girlfriends growing up. They seemed to come and go. As a teen, I was a bit of a tomboy. I preferred hunting trips with my father to hair braiding sleepovers with girls from school. I liked boys, but second dates were hard to come by after my suitors met my father; the tall, broad-shouldered Irishman that hovered behind me. In lieu of dating, my father taught me to bare-knuckle fight, a favorite pastime in Ireland, he would say. When I graduated from Hong Kong’s Police College at age nineteen, unheard of for a woman, he told me, “I’m proud of you, son.”

I like to think he was joking. 

From that point on, my career in law enforcement became my focus; it took over my life. It left little time for what few friends I had and completely ruined any chance of a romance with someone other than myself. My relationships were pathetic at best and upsetting for my mother. All she had ever wanted were grandchildren. What about me, the child you birthed?

“Why Abby?” She would start over Sunday dinner. “Why are you not married? What is wrong? Are you a lazi?”


“I knew it; you’re a lazi.”

“I’m not a lazi!”

I finally proved my mother wrong eight years later when I married a man.

Peng Choi was my first true love. He also showed me there was more to life than the job. We enjoyed six months of marital bliss. I say six months because that’s how long we had been married before my old partner, a good friend, sat me down and told me my husband had just been found brutally murdered. 

We had no motive and no knowledge of enemies Peng might have had. I wasn’t prepared for that—life shoving its hand into my chest and ripping out all that mattered. 

He left me with two young children, Ryan and Lucy, and a mother-in-law, Po Po. Peng was a widower when we fell in love; now I was a widow, and a stepmother to boot.

I dealt with his death by throwing myself into my work. I had all but abandoned the family during that time. My stepchildren were strangers to me and Po Po was fast becoming their mother, a job I slowly started to realize I wanted. So I did what I thought was best. I quit the force and moved the family to San Francisco for a new start on life. Mine, mostly.

The author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and (5) eBook copies of CORKTOWN open International. Open to US is (3) signed paperback copies of CORKTOWN. Please use the Rafflecopter below.
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*This excerpt was provided by the author and/or publisher for AToMR Tours *

Sound (Solid#3) Giveaway Game

 To celebrate the release of the 3rd book of the SOLID series
Shelley Workinger has put together a giveaway game!

EVERY ENTRANT who COMPLETES the task will win
ebooks of BOTH “Solid” (Solid #1) AND “Settling” (Solid #2).

including “Sound” (Solid #3) just as it hits the shelves on Nov. 1st!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit each blog on the list

2. Leave a quick comment to show you were there

3. Copy the image fragment and paste it into a Word .doc

There are 18 stops to visit, comment on, and collect pieces from; 

once you’ve hit all 18 stops and assembled* all of the pieces to complete the image,

email your entry to the author at:

4. Visit the author’s blog: But What Are They Eating?

and leave a comment letting her know you’ve sent in your completed entry.

ALL 4 STEPS are important because she will choose the Grand Prize Winner
from her blog comments (using and then check her email to verify the entry.

*Don’t worry; the pieces are in order, so if you follow the list, it’ll be easy. :)

The Game runs from Oct. 25th through Oct. 31st

last day to enter is Oct. 31st and winner will be chosen Nov. 1st.

Good luck and get gathering!
Here’s my piece:

And the rest of the stops:

1.  Books Devoured                                                                   

Review, Interview & Giveaway: The Prophet: A Shepherd Thriller by Ethan Cross

Title: The Prophet: A Shepherd Thriller
Author: Ethan Cross
Publication: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Story Plant
Source: Publisher
Genre: Suspense
Audience: 17 and up
Rating: 5 of 5

Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work – and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.

Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive.

Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet – and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine.

With attacks coming from every side, Marcus faces a race against time to save the lives of a group of innocent people chosen as sacrifices in the Prophet's final dark ritual.

My Thoughts: This is a fast paced, white knuckled, intense read. I was unable to put this down. I see a lot more Ethan Cross in my future. The Shepherd is a covert agency within the Department of Justice. The Shepherd team uses any means necessary to take down their targets. Francis Ackerman Jr. was one of their targets and he got away. Ackerman sees Marcus Williams as a kindred spirit and inserts himself into the Anarchist investigation. Are his motives pure or is he out to do what he does best, inflict pain and kill?

Marcus is brash and has no filter. He happens to be blessed, or cursed, with a photographic memory. He has been through a lot in his life. Those tragedies leave him feeling not to far removed from the killers that he tracks down. Will Marcus give into his deep carnal nature or will he continue to seek justice?

"No rest for the wicked"- Marcus Williams
Read Excerpt

Francis Ackerman Jr. stared out the window of the dark copper and white bungalow on Macarthur Boulevard. Across the street, a green sign with yellow letters read Mosswood Playground - Oakland Recreation Department. Children laughed and played while mothers and fathers pushed swings and sat on benches reading paperback novels or fiddling with cell phones. He had never experienced such things as a child. The only games his father ever played were the kind that scarred the body and soul. He had never been nurtured; he had never been loved. But he had come to accept that. He had found purpose and meaning born from the pain and chaos that had consumed his life.

He watched the sun reflect off all the smiling faces and imagined how different the scene would be if the sun suddenly burned out and fell from the heavens. The cleansing cold of an everlasting winter would sweep across the land, cleansing it, purifying it. He pictured the faces forever etched in torment, their screams silent, and their eyes like two crystal balls reflecting what lay beyond death.

He let out a long sigh. It would be beautiful. He wondered if normal people ever thought of such things. He wondered if they ever found beauty in death.

Ackerman turned back to the three people bound to chairs in the room behind him. The first two were men—plain-clothes cops that had been watching the house. The older officer had a pencil-thin mustache and thinning brown hair while his younger counterpart’s head was topped with a greasy mop of dark black. The younger man’s bushy eyebrows matched his hair, and a hooked nose sat above thin pink lips and a recessed chin. The first man struck Ackerman to be like any other cop he had met, honest and hard-working. But there was something about the younger man he didn’t like, something in his eyes. He suppressed the urge to smack the condescending little snarl from the younger cop’s ferret-like face.

But instead of hitting him, Ackerman just smiled at the cop. He needed a demonstration to get the information he needed, and the ferret would be perfect. His eyes held the ferret’s gaze a moment longer, and then he winked and turned to the last of his three captives.

Rosemary Phillips wore a faded Oakland Raiders sweatshirt. She had salt and pepper hair, and ancient pock marks marred her smooth dark chocolate complexion. Her eyes burned with a self-assurance and inner strength that Ackerman respected. 

Unfortunately, he needed to find her grandson, and if necessary, he would kill all three of them to accomplish his goal.

He reached up to her mouth and pulled down the gag. She didn’t scream. “Hello, Rosemary. I apologize that I didn’t properly introduce myself earlier when I tied you up, but my name is Francis Ackerman Jr. Have you ever heard of me?”

Rosemary met his gaze. “I’ve seen you on television. You’re the serial killer whose father experimented on him as a child, trying to prove that he could create a monster. I guess he succeeded. But I’m not afraid of you.”

Ackerman smiled. “That’s wonderful. It means that I can skip the introductions and get straight to the point. Do you know why I asked these two gentleman to join us?”

Rosemary’s head swiveled toward the two officers. Her gaze lingered on the ferret. Ackerman saw disgust in her eyes. Apparently, she didn’t like him either. That would make things even more interesting once he started to torture the young cop.

“I’ve seen these two around,” she said. “I’ve already told the cops that my grandson ain’t no damn fool. He wouldn’t just show up here, and I haven’t heard from him since this mess started. But they wouldn’t listen. Apparently they think it’s a good idea to stake out an old lady’s house instead of being out there on the streets doing what the people of this city pay them to do. Typical government at work.”

Ackerman smiled. “I know exactly what you mean. I’ve never had much respect for authority. But you see, I’m looking for your grandson as well. I, however, don’t have the time or patience to sit around here on the off chance that he might show up. I prefer the direct approach, and so I’m going to ask you to level with me. Where can I find your grandson?”

“Like I told them, I have no idea.”

He walked over to a tall, mahogany hutch resting against the wall. It was old and well-built. Family pictures lined its surface and shelves. He picked up a picture of a smiling young black man with his arm around Rosemary. A blue and gold birthday cake sat in front of them. “Rosemary, I’ve done my homework, and I’ve learned that your grandson thinks the world of you. You were his anchor in the storm. Maybe the one good thing in his life. The one person who loved him. You know where he’s hiding, and you are going to share that information with me. One way or another.”

“Why do you even care? What’s he to you?”

“He’s nothing to me. I could care less about your grandson. But someone that I do care about is looking for him, and I try to be useful where I can. And like you said, sometimes bureaucracy and red tape are just too damn slow. We’re going to speed along the process.”

Rosemary shook her head and tugged on the ropes. “I don’t know where he is, and if I did, I’d never tell a monster like you.”

His father’s words tumbled through his mind.

You’re a monster…Kill her and the pain will stop…No one will ever love you…

“Oh, my dear, words hurt. But you’re right. I am a monster.” 

Ackerman grabbed a duffle bag from the floor and tossed it onto a small end table. As he unzipped the bag and rifled through the contents, he said, “Are you familiar with the Spanish Inquisition? I’ve been reading a lot about it lately. It’s a fascinating period of history. The Inquisition was basically a tribunal established by Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in order to maintain Catholic orthodoxy within their kingdoms, especially among the new converts from Judaism and Islam. But that’s not what fascinates me. What fascinates me are the unspeakable acts of barbarism and torture that were carried out in the name of God upon those deemed to be heretics. We think that we live in a brutal age, but our memories are very short-sighted. Any true student of history can tell you that this is the age of enlightenment compared to other periods throughout time. The things the inquisitors did to wrench confessions from their victims was nothing less than extraordinary. Those inquisitors displayed fabulous imagination.”

Ackerman brought a strange device up out of the duffle bag. “This is an antique. It’s previous owner claimed that it’s an exact replica of one used during the Inquisition. You’ve got to love Ebay.” 

He held up the device—built from two large, spiked blocks of wood connected by two threaded metal rods an inch in diameter each—for their inspection. “This was referred to as the Knee Splitter. Although it was used on more than just knees. When the inquisitor would turn these screws, the two blocks would push closer together and the spikes would first pierce the flesh of the victim. Then the inquisitor would continue to twist the screws tighter and tighter until they received the answers they wanted or until the affected appendage was rendered useless.”

Rosemary spit at him. As she spoke, her words were strong and confident. He detected a slight hint of a Georgian accent and suspected that it was from her youth and only presented itself when she was especially flustered. “You’re going to kill us anyway. No matter what I do. I can’t save these men anymore than I can save myself. The only thing that I can control is the way that I go out. And I won’t grovel and beg to the likes of you. I won’t give you the satisfaction.”

He nodded. “I respect that. So many people blame the world or society or others for the way that they are. But we’re all victims of circumstance to a certain extent. We like to think that we’re in control of our own destinies, but the truth is that much of our lives are dictated by forces far beyond our control and comprehension. We all have our strings pulled by someone or something. It’s unavoidable. The only place that we have any real control is right here.” He tapped the tip of his fifteen-inch survival knife against his right temple. “Within our minds. Most people don’t understand that, but you do. I didn’t come here to kill you, Rosemary. It will give me no pleasure to remove you from the world. But my strings get pulled just like everyone else’s. In this case, circumstances dictate that I hurt you and these men in order to achieve my goal. I’m good at what I do, my dear. I’ve been schooled in pain and suffering my entire life. Time will only allow me to share a small portion of my expertise with you, but I can tell you that it will be enough. You will tell me. That’s beyond your control. The only aspect of this situation that you can influence is the duration of the suffering you must endure. So I’ll ask again, where is your grandson?”

Her lips trembled, but she didn’t speak. 

The smell of cinnamon permeated the air but was unable to mask a feral aroma of sweat and fear. Ackerman had missed that smell. He had missed the fear, the power. But he needed to keep himself contained. He couldn’t lose control. This was about information, not about satisfying his own hunger.

“Time to begin. As they say, I’m going to put the screws to this officer. Makes you wonder if this device is responsible for such a saying, doesn’t it?”


After several moments of enjoyment with his new toy, Ackerman looked at Rosemary, but she had diverted her gaze. He twisted the handles again, and the officer’s thrashing increased.

“Okay, I’ll tell you!” she said. “He’s in Spokane, Washington. They’re set up in an abandoned metal working shop of some kind. Some crooked realtor set it up for them. I’ve tried to get him to turn himself in. I even consider calling the police myself, but I know that he and his friends won’t allow themselves to be captured alive. He’s the only family I have left.” Tears ran down her cheeks.

Ackerman reached down and twisted the pressure from the officer’s legs. The man’s head fell back against the chair. “Thank you. I believe you, and I appreciate your situation. Your grandson has been a bad boy. But he’s your flesh and blood, and you still love him.”

He walked over to the table and pulled up another chair in front of Rosemary. As he sat, he pulled out a small notepad. It was spiral-bound from the top with a blood red cover. “Since you’ve been so forthcoming with me and out of respect, I’ll give you a genuine chance to save your lives.” He flipped up the notepad’s cover, retrieved a small pen from within the spiral, and started to write. As the pen traveled over the page, he said, “I’m going to let you pick the outcome of our little game. On this first sheet, I’ve written ‘ferret’ to represent our first officer.” He tore off the page, wadded it up, and placed it between his legs. “On the second, we’ll write ‘Jackie Gleason’ to represent the next officer. Then Rosemary. Then all live. And all die.”

He stirred up the wadded pieces of paper and placed them on the floor in front of her. “I think the game is self-explanatory, but to make sure that there’s no confusion, you pick the piece of paper, and I kill whoever’s name is on it. But you do have a twenty percent chance that you all live. And just to be clear, if you refuse to pick or take too long, I’ll be happy to kill all three of you. So please don’t try to fight fate. The only thing you have control over here is which piece of paper you choose. Have no illusions that you have other options. It will only serve in making the situation even less manageable for you. Pick one.”

Rosemary’s eyes were full of hate. They burrowed into him. Her gaze didn’t waver. A doctor named Kendrick from the Cedar Mill Psychiatric Hospital had once told Ackerman that he had damage to a group of interconnected brain structures, known as the paralimbic system, that were involved in processing emotion, goal seeking, motivation, and self-control. The doctor had studied his brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology and had also found damage to an area known as the amygdala that generated emotions such as fear. Monkeys in the wild with damage to the amygdala had been known to walk right up to people or even predators. The doctor had said this explained why Ackerman didn’t feel fear in the way that other people did. He wondered if Rosemary had a similar impairment or if her strength originated from somewhere else entirely.

She looked down at the sheets of paper then back into his eyes. “Third one. The one right in the center.”

He reached down and uncrumpled the small piece of paper. He smiled. “It’s your lucky day. You all get to live. I’m sorry that you had to endure this due to the actions of someone else. But as I said, we’re all victims of circumstance.”

Then he stood, retrieved his things, and exited onto Macarthur Boulevard.


Ackerman tossed his duffle bag into the trunk of a light-blue Ford Focus. He wished he could travel in more style, but the ability to blend outweighed his own sense of flare. He pulled open the driver’s door, slipped inside, and dropped some jewelry and the wallets and purse of his former captives on the seat next to him. He hated to lower himself to common thievery, but everything cost money. And his skill set didn’t exactly look good on a resume. Besides, he didn’t have time for such things.

He retrieved a disposable cell phone from the glove box and activated the device. As he dialed and pressed send, he looked down at the small slip of paper that Rosemary had chosen. The words All Die stared back at him.

After a few rings, the call connected, and the voice on the other end said, “What do you want?”

Ackerman smiled. “Hello, Marcus. Please forgive me, for I have sinned. But I do it all for you.”

Book Blast: The Waiting Booth by Brinda Berry

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 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.

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Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an 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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Audio Review: Forever by Maggie Steifvater

Author: Maggie Steifvater
Jenna Lamia, Pierce Cravens, Dan Bittner, Emma Galvin, Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Forever
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Publisher:Scholastic Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio CD
Length:12 hrs, 16 mins
Publication: July 12, 2011 
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Purchase: Audible
WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Review: I liked this one, it was a great end to a lovely journey. Grace and Sam are such a cute couple, and I liked all the other characters as well.In this final installment the wolves are in danger of being annihilated. It falls to Sam to figure out how to save them before this happens, though he struggles with this choice because it will require him to do something he can't. Add to all this, he must deal with the fact that Grace is now a wolf. I loved the multi-voiced narrative, and they did an excellent job of translating this book to the make it just as good as reading it. Each narrator used their tone of voice and inflection beautifully for each of the characters. I must say that this is probably my favorite book of the series. I admit that while driving, I fell in love with Cole because he is the bad boy you want but don't need. Overall, great listen and I think with that ending the author could potentially continue on with their story if she chooses to do so. Great read!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Spotlight: Excerpt: Falling In Love by Stephen Bradlee

Synopsis: Sherry Johnson is young, beautiful, bright and athletic. She has everything going for her, except for one thing. 
She is addicted to love. Her life is a vicious circle of nightly trysts and morning regrets.
Her addiction got her kicked out of college, cost her the love of her life and has left her in complete despair.But still Sherry keeps falling in love. And falling. And falling.Finally, as Sherry struggles to pull herself up from a bottomless abyss, she realizes that she will have to learn to love the one person she has loathed for most of her life. Herself.
Based on the True Story of a Young Woman's Battle with Sexual Addiction.


This Giveaway is open Internationally. Use the form below to enter.
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The next morning, Paul gave me his credit card and instructed me to go into Sparta and buy myself a beautiful dress. He also planned to shop for something special before jogging along the lake with Brian.
Hearing Brian’s name made my heart sink to my stomach. I tried to mention offhandedly that I hadn’t known that he had made plans with Brian.
“I didn’t,” Paul replied. “He just called this morning and said that he wanted to get together. I guess he’s trying to make up for being so rude last night.”
How I wished that were true but I knew that it wasn’t! I flashed anger at Brian. He was trying to take my Paul away from me. I wanted go along, to stop Brian from telling Paul but before I could say anything Paul gave me a quick kiss, promised to pick me up at seven and was out the door. I turned to see Arlene entering the room. She had seen Paul kissing me. She gave me the cold stare that Brian had in the karaoke bar. I ran out the door.
I started out for Sparta filled with misgivings, not even sure that I should waste Paul’s money on a dress that I would probably never wear. But I figured that I couldn’t let on that I knew what Brian was going to say. I would just have to lie to Paul and tell him that Brian had been mistaken, that it wasn’t me. I thought about admitting the truth, of trying to convince Paul that I truly loved him and that I would never do anything like that ever again. That might do it. Yes, if he really loved me, that just might work.
I tried not to think about Brian and Paul as I wandered though Sparta’s only mall. I found a lovely small dress shop with a beautiful black dress. But I couldn’t buy it, afraid that I would look like I was going to a funeral. I considered buying a white dress but was afraid that this might also be a little too much. Finally, I found one that I thought might work, beige and very prim looking.
I walked around the mall for three more hours, as I didn’t want to return to Arlene’s house. I couldn’t stand sitting there while she stared daggers at me.
On the drive back to Oak Grove, I remained torn between lying to Paul or telling him the truth and begging his forgiveness. By the time I had showered, changed into the dress and sat waiting for him on the front-porch swing, I was still torn apart.
Paul pulled up and bounced out of his car, looking very dashing in a Navy blue suit. He had worn suits to work but I’d never before seen him wear one after work. If Brian had told me where he had seen me, Paul didn’t show it as he bound up the steps with an affectionate smile. He swept me off the swing and gave me a long, loving kiss. As we headed for Paul’s car, I felt so relieved that I hadn’t needed to worry about what Brian might have told him.
Paul had made a reservation on the Lakeside Restaurant’s terrace so that we would be dining at sunset. The setting was absolutely beautiful as an almost glowing sun spread shimmering flecks over the water. But unlike previous dinners when Paul talked nonstop about his life and his plans and dreams, he now seemed to be more reflective. The long pauses in the conversation made me uneasy.
“You’re quiet tonight,” I finally observed.
“My mother taught me not to talk with my mouth full,” Paul replied matter-of-factly and I became even more uneasy.
I tried to fill the vacuum with small talk but it didn’t help and finally Paul asked, “Where did you meet Brian?”
My heart sink. After all day of weighing lying to Paul versus admitting the truth, I was still on a very sharp fence. Tell the truth, Sherry, that is your only hope. I knew this. I did. So I was startled to hear myself say, “Buying cigarettes. I told you.”
“He lives in Sparta.”
“That’s where it was,” my voice said, now committed to the lie. “I went for a drive.”
“That’s all?”
“Of course. What did you think?” I hadn’t meant to ask that question, as I had dreaded the answer. But I had.
Paul looked closely at me for what seemed like forever as I sat speechless, motionless. Finally, I tried smiling as sweetly as I could. Then Paul smiled back and started to relax.
“Brian was kidding me about you being at Nick Rogers’ party last Sunday.”
“I don’t know a Nick Rogers,” I said quickly and then remembered that I had actually met him. For all I could remember, I knew Nick Rogers in more ways than one but that thought disgusted me so much that I pushed it out of my mind.
“You could go to all his parties and not know him. His place is a walkin.” Paul laughed and gave me a loving smile. “Forget about it,” he said. “Brian was just being stupid.”
Paul dropped his napkin by the table and knelt down to retrieve it. But he didn’t get up again.
“Everything okay?” I asked him.
Paul looked up. “It will be perfect, if you will take this.” He was holding a ring case.
I took the case and opened it to see a large, sparkling, gorgeous diamond ring.
“Will you marry me?” Paul asked.
I couldn’t believe it. I had feared that this would be the worst night of my life and instead it was turning out to be the best. “Yes. Oh, yes!” I exclaimed.
Paul swept me out of my seat and into his arms and gave me a long, wonderful kiss. The restaurant patrons broke into applause and a waiter approached us with a bottle of champagne.
For the next two hours, we drank champagne, dined and held each other’s hand. I must have showed off my dazzling ring to everyone in the restaurant at least twice.
We finally strolled outside, hand in hand with Paul stopping at every step to kiss me.
“Where else should we go to celebrate?” he asked.
The question surprised me. I thought that since we were now engaged, we would go back to his house and make love. But Paul had waited so long for that moment that he now seemed to willing to stretch it out further, to tantalize us both before we began making love for the rest of our lives. Although I could barely wait another minute, I understood.
“Anywhere you want,” I replied.
Paul smiled. “I know the perfect place.”
We drove into Sparta and headed in a direction that seemed vaguely familiar and then it became all too familiar as we finally pulled up outside that party house, Nick Rogers’ house. Hoping I was mistaken, I glanced at the house with increasing apprehension. I wasn’t mistaken. The party tonight was quieter but a party nonetheless. I knew I had to get out of there. I had to get Paul out of there.
“It sounds too loud,” I said. “Why don’t we go to somewhere quiet? Just the two of us.” I kissed Paul and gave him a big smile, hoping that this would do it. It didn’t.
He smiled back. “We will. In a minute. I just want to show those clowns what a class act looks like. Brian deserves this.”
Paul got out car and opened my door. I couldn’t move. “You go,” I said. “I’ll wait here.”
Paul shook his head. “It wouldn’t be any fun without you. Come on.”
Paul was almost pulling me out of the car when I saw the guy they called Tex walking across the porch with a brunette. I knew I couldn’t go near him. I was horrified by the thought. I shuddered backward into the seat, frozen. “I can’t,” I said. “I can’t.”
Paul looked puzzled. “What? Why?”
“I just can’t.”
Suddenly, Paul looked warily at me, accusingly. “Have you been here before?”
“I don’t know,” I said. I really didn’t. The person who had walked into that house wasn’t me.
Paul was trying not to believe what he was realizing was true. “Sherry, either you have or you haven’t,” he said brusquely.
“Can’t we just go, please?”
He stared at me with accusing eyes. “We’re going, all right,” he snapped and slammed my door shut.
All the way back to Oak Grove, I fought back tears as I tried to talk to Paul. I wanted so badly to tell him that I would never do anything like that again but I couldn’t think of the right words, and Paul wasn’t really listening to anything I was saying anyway. He had turned into some other Paul that I had never seen before. This wonderfully, sweet guy was now enraged at me and seemingly every female he had ever met.
“You women are all the same,” he shouted. “You act sweet and innocent with me and then go fuck the first guy you see.” He turned to me. “Am I the only guy in this county who hasn’t had you? Am I? Answer me?”
“It’s not want you think,” I protested.
“That’s for damn sure,” he retorted as the car screeched to a stop outside Arlene’s house. He turned to me again. “Answer me! Did you screw a bunch of guys at Rogers’?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. I really didn’t. I didn’t know anything anymore.
“That’s bullshit!” he snapped.
I couldn’t stand the thought of losing Paul and never again enjoying our wonderful times together. “All I know is that I really care for you,” I said. “Come with me to New York, right now. Just the two of us.”
“So you can sleep around in a big city and I won’t find out?” He glowered at me.
“No!” I didn’t want that. I only wanted to be with Paul. “I—”
But before I could speak, Paul cut me off. Reaching over to open my door, he looked away. “Get out!”
“Paul, please,” I pleaded. “I’m sorry. I’m not like that.”
“Get out of my life!” He yelled so loudly that he scared me.
I finally broke down in tears. “Paul, please,” I pleaded again.
He refused to look at me. Instead he just glared out the front window into the dark night.
Slowly, I got out of the car. Before I could even close the door, the car squealed away from the curb and the violent motion slammed the door shut.
I ran into Arlene’s house, up the stairs and once again, blinded by tears, began jamming my clothes into my suitcase. I hated myself for running away but I knew that no matter what I said to Paul, it wouldn’t do any good. You blew it, Sherry. Just get to New York. Through my tears, I saw the picture of Paul with the big fish and whispered to it, “I’m sorry, Paul. I truly am.”
When my suitcase was again stuffed full, I slammed it shut and ran down the stairs, tripping and almost falling but I managed to stay upright. I couldn’t stay in that house one more second. Arlene was her living room, watching a TV show. I didn’t bother to say, goodbye. As I ran out the door, I heard her parting shot. “Goodbye and good riddance.”
Lost in tears, I headed out of Oak Grove. The Interstate was on the other side of Sparta but I could never again go into that town. I yanked the wheel at a small road hoping to bypass it. The road was narrow and winding. Driving too fast, especially with eyes filled with tears that blocked my vision, I swerved all over the road. I nearly hit the ditch on a couple of sharp curves but I didn’t slow down. I had to get out of there. I felt like I couldn’t breathe until I got to the Interstate.
Then I felt rugged bumps and I blinked away the tears to see the car skidding off the road and heading for a towering tree. I jerked the steering wheel but I was too late as the car slid sideways toward the tree trunk. I hadn’t bothered to put on a seat belt so I tried to clutch the steering wheel as I braced for the crash.

Author Bio: 
Stephen Bradlee is the pen name for a Hollywood film executive. He has ghostwritten celebrity autobiographies and has worked primarily as a script doctor. He is married and lives with his wife, their daughter and their dog.