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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Covenant: Book 1 of Abram's Daughters

Author: Beverly Lewis

Title: The Covenant: Book 1 of Abram's Daughters

Publication: September 1, 2002
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Amish Romance
Pages: 319
Audience: 18 and up
Rating: 2 out of 5
Source: Public Library

Synopsis (from the cover): At the close of World War II, the heart and soul of Gobbler's Knob offers everything young Leah Ebersol cherishes, including her sweetheart Jonas Mast. But for Leah's defiant older sister, Sadie, their Plain heritage holds little appeal compared to the lure of the outside world. For both sisters, it is the time of rumschpringe, when Amish teens are free to run wild before embracing baptismal vows. Those who choose the path of disobedience only find innocence lost and dreams shattered. Drawn into a secret pact with her sister, Leah faces the unthinkable. Will the decision of one wayward soul tarnish her life forever?

My thoughts:
As I have mentioned, I had to pick a genre for a class, and I decided on Amish Romance. The cover and synopsis sounded good enough for me, but I found myself falling asleep while reading it. To be honest, it was pretty boring until the last 30-40 pages, things picked up a bit. However, the Ebersol family has so many secrets, lies, shame, forbidden love, and evil plots- I was surprised the book did not keep me on edge until the end. I understand this is the first book in a series and an author needs to plant seeds to build off of, but I felt like she planted too many. I wish she would have answered at least a couple of my burning questions. My desire to finish the series is zilch, so I may try to find the spoilers somewhere. I did feel like the characters were real people with real problems, but I've never known a whole family to have their own buckets of problems and not share. So maybe that is my problem with the book- you need someone to vent or confide to at some point. If you like slow paced series books with tons of seeds to be answered later on, then try The Covenant.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Audio Review: Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster

Title: Hostile Witness
Author: Rebecca Forster
Narrator: Tara Platt
Publisher: Silent C Press
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 9 hrs: 21 mins
Publication: May 9, 2012
Source: Publisher/Author via
Genre:  Suspense/Mystery/Legal Thriller
Rating: 5 of 5

Synopsis: Some secrets aren't uncovered. They are unleashed...

The national bestselling author is back with a gripping legal thriller of a brilliant lawyer caught between her client, a powerful family's hidden legacy, and the truth...

Josie Baylor-Bates returns to the practice of criminal defense when her friend's sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, is arrested for the brutal slaying of her step-grandfather - a California Supreme Court justice. Although all evidence points to Hannah's guilt, her family's disturbing relations may play a more significant role than anyone could guess. As Josie unravels a circle of secrets, she discovers a shocking truth that could save her client-or destroy them all...

My Thoughts: Josie Baylor-Bates is so haunted by the actions of a client she was able to exonerate that she is no longer practicing as a criminal lawyer. That all changes when she meets Hannah. Hannah's strange behavior and attitude toward the victim all point to Hannah's guilt. 

This is a fast paced audio. I felt as if the audio had just began and then it was over. Rebecca Foster has created an incredible story. I never saw any of the twists and turns until I was right smack in the middle of it. I have much empathy for both Josie and Hannah. Neither of them asked to be put in the situations they are in but they are both strong and even stronger together. This is a great thriller. I will be enjoying more Rebecca Foster in the future. 

This is a single-voiced unabridged production. Hostile Witness presents well in audio format. Each character is clearly differentiated by tone and inflection. Tara Platt does a wonderful job of managing variations in gender and accents. I listened to this audio on my kindle with headphones so I had no difficulties with sound quality. Tara's pace was maintained and appropriate throughout the production. I would listen to more audios narrated by Tara Platt. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Promo: Phantom by Laura DeLuca

Join us March 25-29th for a great tour for Phantom by: Laura DeLuca. 

Book Description

March 30, 2012
The "Phantom" was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses "Phantom" as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card. Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars-Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist. Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn't know who to trust, but she knows she's running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

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Author Bio

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.

Find the Author

Goodreads | Amazon | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Publisher

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March 25
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Book Blast: Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)

"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)

"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!

Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon

Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/14/13

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Interview & Excerpt: Picture Perfect by Camille Dixon

Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Camille Dixon
Publication: March 26, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


Synopsis: On the outside, Devin Thompson looks like he has it all - charm, good looks, and a scholarship every art major at Sanhope would kill for. But on the inside, he’s dying. His family is falling apart, his grades are dropping, and his girlfriend just dumped him for his hockey team rival, who also happens to be his younger brother. Not to mention he hasn’t been able to snap a decent picture for his senior portfolio in weeks. But when a sultry redhead with fire burning in her eyes struts across his path, he thinks he may have finally found his muse…

Angela “Angel” Davis learned early on that life never offers any hand-outs. And she’s getting burned out. Between juggling her nights as an exotic dancer at a men’s private club and struggling to keep up with her elementary education courses during the day, she barely has time to think of the future. Not that she wants to. The future implies planning, and Angel is no stranger to broken dreams. Then she meets Devin, a man who’s so wrong for her, yet she can’t seem to stay away from.

When Devin offers to take her on as his private model, Angel finds the cash hard to refuse. Each has something the other desperately needs, and neither one is willing to walk away. As their professional relationship spirals out of control into something more, they learn sometimes the wrong person can be the only right person, and that life - and people - are rarely picture perfect.

I looked back at Erik, who seemed totally clueless. Glancing at my watch for the umpteenth time, I polished off my Jack-and-Coke, nearly gagging at the watered-down coke, and started to get up. “I’m going to find a restroom.”
“Wait!” Erik frantically motioned for me to sit. “You haven’t seen the best part.”
“Oh, I think I have,” I grumbled, pushing up out of my seat anyway when the music abruptly died and the lights dimmed to barely nothing. Cursing, I hesitated, unable to see much until my eyes adjusted to the sudden darkness. A smoky blue light was growing beneath the curtain, at the center of the stage, illuminating the silhouette of yet another girl. Tired of the same old shit, I was about to turn my back in search of a bathroom when the first strands of a classic jazz tune came through the speakers, a welcome contrast to the mindless drone of the past half hour that left my ears ringing.
As the vocals began, the light intensified, revealing a woman with naturally colored skin and long curling hair that looked like fire. The dark auburn hue was brought out by the complimentary green of the stage lights - probably on purpose, I noted to my inner artist’s satisfaction - and when the girl turned to look at the audience, I froze where I was, halfway risen from my seat.
Where was all the overdone makeup? She had cosmetics on, but it was natural-looking, enhancing her features and her fiery beauty rather than detracting from it. She was elegant and beautiful, in an old Hollywood pinup girl kind of way, just like Marilyn Monroe. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I didn’t want to.
Erik grinned as I plopped back down in my seat, a little stunned. “Worth the wait, huh?” Erik yelled.
“Who is she?”
“They always save her for last. She’s a house favorite. Her stage name is Angel."
Angel. It sounded too sweet for the sultry goddess lighting up the whole stage - hell, the whole room - with her sensual moves that while conservative, seemed twice as erotic as what the girls who had come before her had done. They were smoother, like what you’d see when watching a trained dancer, like a ballerina or a ballroom dancer. I’d expected a name like Venus or Hera or something worthy of this goddess’s undeniable power over men.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Giveaway and Review: The Sound of Sleigh Bells

Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Title: The Sound of Sleigh Bells

Publication: October 6, 2009
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Genre: Amish, Romance
Pages: 208
Audience: 18 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from the cover): Beth Hertzler wourks alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store and serves as a contact between Amish craftsman and Englischer retailers. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart every day, and she still wears dark dresses to indicate her mourning of her fiance'. When she discovers a large intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow in an Englischer store, something deep inside Beth's soul responds, and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work.
Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth show her the woodworking, and after meeting Jonah, the artist, she is determined that Beth come to know this man whose hands create healing art. But it's not that simple- Beth has cut herself off from any possibility of romance. Will Lizzy's elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth new hope and a s second chance at real love- or just more heartbreak?

My thoughts:
 First of all, I just want to say, it is not my plan to offend anyone by reading and reviewing this religious romance novel. For a class assignment, we had to sign up for booktalks. Someone mentioned the Amish romance because they did not know why they were so popular, and other people agreed. I decided to take this genre on.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Smallwood is a great way to dip your toe into the genre of Amish Romance. However, this book is not just about romance, it is about healing from physical and emotional wounds. I really enjoyed the wealth of knowledge each character shared on the process of healing.
After surpassing the typical amount time of mourning, Beth is still mourning the tragic death of her fiance', Henry. She has built a wall around her heart to let no one in. She has even pushed the people who truly love and care about her, her family. Beth helps her Aunt Lizzy run an Amish dry goods store that helps support their Amish community. Beth finally decides to go on a business trip that will change her life. Also, Beth is not so bitter that you can't stand her. She is a bit annoying, but she has a human quality and you can sympathize with how she acts the way she does.
Jonah has physical wounds from a horrible accident that happened early in his youth. He was angry, but learned there was no reason to be angry for his situation. Since he has healed emotionally, Beth's Aunt Lizzy sees a way for Jonah to help Beth melt the ice around her heart. Jonah may not be in the ideal shape that he would want to be in at 28, but he has a handsome ruggedness about him. He is wise beyond his years and is extremely patient. He is just a loveable character.
The book is really great. The romance is not sexual, it is more about pure, true love and the power of healing and letting go of the past. I never thought I could enjoy an Amish romance, but I did. I believe Cindy Woodsmall is a great author to try the genre out with.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Reveal & Giveaway: The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

Title: The Fallen Stars 
Author: Stephanie Keyes 
Series: The Star child #2 
Publication: April 12, 2013 
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing 
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance 


Synopsis: Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

The Trailer

Today's trailer is for Stephanie Keye's second book, The Fallen Stars. Have a look!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Isabella: Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry

Author: Jennifer Fosberry  
Illustrator: Mike Litwin  
Title: Isabella: Star of the Story  
Publication: April 2013  
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 
Pages: 32 pp.
Age: 4-8 years
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Every day's an adventure with Isabella!

Isabella checks out the library, and steals the spotlight from some of the most memorable children's book characters. She's Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole. No, now she's Peter Pan, flying off to Never Never Land. And when it's finally time to follow the yellow brick road home, she decides she's happy just being Isabella, the little purple-haired girl with a lot of books and even more imagination.

Thoughts: This a colorful book about the power of the imagination and the young love of reading. Isabella is going to the library with her parents and as soon she enters, she is no longer Isabella but whatever book her heart is set on checking out, that is until it's time for her to go home to cherish them. I couldn't help smiling as she continuously said her name wasn't this or that and how the adults went along with and humored her, even playing on words from each book she chooses. I think this is an adorable book about the family reading experience and the bonds that grow from there. It's such a beautiful sight to see families come in the library together and gush over books. The illustrations are vibrant and gorgeous. Litwin does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Isabella and bringing the words written by Fosberry to life. The end of the book gives more information on the stories mentioned throughout the book. Overall, this a good read for the little ones.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Otherborn by Anna Silver

Title: Otherborn
Series: Otherborn (Book One)
Author: Anna Silver
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: April 4, 2013
Pages: 290
Format: Paperback, ebook
Genre: YA
Subgenres: dystopian, science fiction
Source: Author/Publisher

Synopsis: London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her. 

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future. 

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

My thoughts:  Imagine a world where anything “new” is frightening, dreaming is illegal, and day to day life is a struggle. London is 16 and living a post energy crisis world. Everything from food to medical treatment is rationed. Her band, Otherborn, is what keeps her grounded and sane. When those London loves the most turn up dead or missing London begins a mission to save them.

This is a fast read and I was drawn in from the very beginning. It was easy to love London. She is strong and passionate. Silver has created a vivid world that I could easily see as our future.  I looking forward to the next book to see  what London’s future holds.

Author Bio:
Anna Silver grew up with a passion for words, books, and storytelling. She began writing as a child and eventually landed at St. Edward’s University in Austin where she studied English Writing & Rhetoric. She has always nurtured a vivid imagination and a love for art, expression, and fantasy. Currently she resides in the greater Houston area with her family and pets where she continues to read, write, and dream. Otherborn is her first published novel. 

See what other bloggers are saying about Otherborn. Several are hosting giveaways. 

Book Blast: Ixeos by Jennings Wright


The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.

Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/7/13

Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chu's Day

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Adam Rex
Title: Chu's Day
Publication: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Children's
Pages: 32
Audience: 4 and up
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Interlibrary Loan

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Meet Chu. Chu is a small panda with a very big sneeze. When Chu sneezes, you REALLY don't want to get in the way. But a whole day of adventure will test Chu's sneeze-resisting powers to the limit - there's the library (dusty books!), the diner (pepper!), and then the circus (all those animals!). How big can a sneeze really be? Just wait and see . . .

My thoughts:
I FINALLY got this book. Sorry for reviewing it so late. Chu's Day was very cute. I saw reviews for it before I got to read it and the main complaints were that it was very short. it is very short, but if you have  three year old, like my nephew then this book is perfect. It is short, sweet, and to the point. Chu is so cute and cuddly, I mean who doesn't love panda? It is a really cute book that younger children or children with short attention spans would enjoy.

The artwork is beautiful. Adam Rex does an excellent job on all the animals in the book. Chu is just a cute little fluff ball. In some scenes he looks just like my cat! I really love the next to last page, the Dad looks like he is fed up. It was a bit funny. That could just be me though.  Anyway, the artwork is great and the book is great.

Cover Reveal: Surrender and Justice by Rhiannon Paille

Title: SURRENDER (The Ferryman & The Flame #1)
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Cover Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

Synopsis: Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn't listen, and because of what she is-- a Flame-- one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Title: JUSTICE (The Ferryman & The Flame #2)
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Cover Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design


Synopsis:How far would you go to destroy yourself?

Krishani always knew he would have to go to the Lands of Men, but he never thought it would be like this. Enemies everywhere, an ancestor he can't respect, elders he can't trust, a curse he can't stop and friends he can't help but hate. Desperate to end the pain, he sets out on a quest to find the other Flames and face the enemy that took everything from him.

Author Bio:
Rhi was never a normal girl. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. She's married to a chef/comic book shop owner and has a fondness for architecture. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site:

**Because Rhiannon is awesome for 1 day (today) March 19, 2013 both books are available FREE on Kindle. Use the amazon links above to get your copy. **