Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hope Springs Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate!



In a small community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.

Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life-a place filled with quiet streets, a place where there's not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season. 

Janelle hasn't gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn't long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened. 

Becca is finally on the trajectory she's longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she's been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women's conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father's church in Hope Springs. 

And Stephanie has the ideal life-married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It's a decision that will forever change her. 

As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-is bigger than they ever imagined. 


About Kim: 

Litfuse
Kim Cash Tate is the author of Cherished, Faithful, Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. She and Her husband have two children. 

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/bAPH2 





Review:

Hope Springs is a small town where everyone knows everyone. Of course, this also means everyone is involved in everyone else's business as well. When the pastor of one of the 2 churches in town passes away, former Hope Springs residents come back for the funeral. As they discover how theirs lives have changed, they also discover they still have many things in common. The Sanders family soon learns their matriarch, Grandma Geri, is very ill. They try to make the best of things, but a family secret soon rocks them to their cores. Meanwhile the Dillon family is making some big decisions of their own when husband Jim feels called to come minister to the flock his father left behind. There are ups and downs, but the residents of Hope Springs will find that with each other they can make it through anything.

This book kind of took me by surprise. There were a lot of topics that could be somewhat heavy, but the author managed to handle them very deftly. I will admit to getting confused with all the names though. I definitely needed that family tree in the front! I think the book managed to talk about sensitive topics without being too preachy (which is saying a lot for a book somewhat about preaching). Nothing was really wrapped up in a neat little bow, and I appreciated that. It made the book seem more realistic. I found myself cheering for almost every character. Even through the problems and secrets, I grew to love all the characters in different ways. The big family secret surprised me, and that can be hard to do sometimes. It wasn't really projected in any way, so I was feeling just like the characters.

I really loved the way race was portrayed in this book. To have so many people of different races who were equally successful and well-rounded was awesome. These are the types of positive characters that everyone could stand to read about. Sure, they all had their struggles, but they were all good people overall. Reading about the children being wonderfully colorblind helped give me hope. Issues with race in the past, present, and future were all addressed to some degree. Once again, no easy answers were given, but there were definitely a lot of things for me to think about. Just watching the people of Hope Springs start a conversation about it was great. When it came to forgiveness of others, I like that one character was ready to admit she couldn't just easily throw aside past hurts. I just felt like so many of they characters had problems that so many of us have had or will have in our lives. Watching them work through it all helped give me some ideas of things I could work on. This book was really fantastic, and I think a lot of people will enjoy reading it.

Galley provided for review.


Celebrate the release of Hope Springs with Kim Cash Tate by coming to her Author Chat Party on Facebook.

Find out what readers are saying here.

Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join me for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!

During the evening Kim will be sharing the story behind her new book, posting book club questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and (I'm so excited about this) - a Kindle Fire!

But, wait there's more – she’ll also be giving you a sneak peak of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 10th ... and bring your friends!


Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop






Welcome to the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop!


Here in the US we celebrate our nation's independence on July 4th. I think one thing everyone around the world can appreciate is the chance most of us have to read what we choose. There are some great books out there!


I am going to offer up my usual prizes:


a $10 Amazon.com gift code or $10 in books from Book Depository!



Please check to ensure that Book Depository delivers to your country.

How do you enter?

Choose one or any or all of the following:
1. Follow on GFC
2.  Follow on Twitter
3. Like on Facebook
4. Friend on Goodreads 

That's all!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Be sure to check out all the stops on the hop. Good luck!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda


Title:In the Sea There Are Crocodiles
Author:Fabio Geda (Howard Curtis- Translator)
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Pub. Date:8/9/2011
ISBN:0385534736 (ISBN13: 9780385534734)
Pages:215



When ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s small village in Afghanistan falls prey to Taliban rule in early 2000, his mother shepherds the boy across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there all alone to fend for himself. Thus begins Enaiat’s remarkable and often punish­ing five-year ordeal, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen. 

Along the way, Enaiat endures the crippling physical and emotional agony of dangerous border crossings, trekking across bitterly cold mountain pathways for days on end or being stuffed into the false bottom of a truck. But not every­one is as resourceful, resilient, or lucky as Enaiat, and there are many heart-wrenching casualties along the way. 

Based on Enaiat’s close collaboration with Italian novelist Fabio Geda and expertly rendered in English by an award- winning translator, this novel reconstructs the young boy’s memories, perfectly preserving the childlike perspective and rhythms of an intimate oral history. 
 
Told with humor and humanity, In the Sea There Are Crocodiles brilliantly captures Enaiat’s moving and engaging voice and lends urgency to an epic story of hope and survival.




(Summary and cover via Goodreads)
            **************************************************

Enaiatollah Akbari has lived a fairly normal life in Afghanistan, that is until one day when he finds himself being rushed away from his village by his mother. The Taliban has taken over, and Enaiat's mother does not want him there. She leaves him in Pakistan, and Enaiat must learn to take care of himself. Constantly wanting a better life, he finds himself trying to find ways to improve his living conditions. This often involves trusting human traffickers to get him from place to place. Enaiat will travel to Iran, Turkey, Greece, and finally Italy where he seeks asylum. Of course, his path is never easy. However, Enaiat will not rest until he has found a way to make his life more like what he wants it to be.

This was a very interesting story on a couple levels. The first thing that struck me was the things a mother will do to protect her child. Enaiat's mother knew the life they were going to experience in Afghanistan was not the one she wanted Enaiat to have. The only way to try and improve thing for him were to smuggle him out of the country. However, she did have other children and family. So she leaves Enaiat in Iran. I can't imagine how hard this must have been for her, not knowing whether Enaiat would survive all this. She was willing to give him a chance though, and this was probably the best she could do for him. I'm glad she eventually gets to discover that her efforts were successful.

Of course Enaiat's story after getting to Iran is equally amazing. He survived with some good instincts and a lot of luck. It was so sad to see him and so many people trying to get themselves smuggled to new countries just to try and live a good life. I found it interesting how Enaiat seemed to keep running into people he knew. They clearly have some ways to communicate back to their friends in other countries. The story is told in a very interesting way. It feels very much like you're sitting listening to someone tell their story as opposed to reading their words. This book made me appreciate my life greatly, but it also made me want to help other people like Enaiat. His story was incredibly moving, and I hope that he continues to have a wonderful life where he is now.

Galley provided for review.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

An American Family Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for An American Family by Peter Lefcourt!



What did it mean to become American in the mid-20th century? Peter Lefcourt goes beyond assimilation to take a nostalgic and dramatic look at what makes us truly American in AN AMERICAN FAMILY: A Novel (Amazon e-book; $3.99; May 1, 2012). Lefcourt, known for his best-selling comic novels -- The Deal, The Dreyfus Affair, Di & I, Abbreviating Ernie, The Woody, Eleven Karens and The Manhattan Project -- takes a more serious approach here as he revives the settings, styles and sentiments of the 20th century.

RootsThe GodfatherAngela’s AshesThe Joy Luck ClubMy AntoniaThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & ClayMiddlesex are just a few of the great family sagas that have evoked our shared immigrant experience. AN AMERICAN FAMILY is told through the shifting points of view of the five Perl siblings born in the 1940’s, between the two iconic dates of the last fifty years: the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the catastrophe of 9/11. Within this time frame the Perl family is swept up in the sweeping cultural changes of those years: the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, rock and roll, drugs, women’s liberation, and the civil rights movement.

During this turbulent time, we meet the Perls -- Meyer, the immigrant tailor with a weakness for Yiddish theater actresses, whose nephew, Nathan, would become a fabric cutter on Seventh Avenue and the patriarch of the clan; Jackie, the young lawyer with a weakness for women, alcohol and Italian-American “clients”; Michael, the business genius intent on building his fortune; Elaine, the married school teacher who wants more from her life than being merely a wife and mother; Stephen, the brilliant and sensitive artist who struggles with his talent and his sexuality; and Roberta, the rebel hungry to experience perhaps a little too much of what life has to offer.

Lefcourt reaches back to his own family and memories to inform this saga. “Though this is not an autobiographical novel, it is, in a larger sense, a ‘cultural autobiography’ – specifically, that of Jewish-Americans born in the 1940’s. Our experiences are similar to that of all immigrants – Italian, Irish, Vietnamese, Iranian, etc. – as we all navigate the tide of our new culture.”

Peter Lefcourt is a refugee from the trenches of Hollywood, where he has distinguished himself as a writer and producer of film and television. Among his credits are “Cagney and Lacey,” for which he won an Emmy Award; “Monte Carlo,” in which he managed to keep Joan Collins in the same wardrobe for 35 pages; the relentlessly sentimental “Danielle Steel’s Fine Things,” and the underrated and hurried “The Women of Windsor,” the most sordid, and thankfully last, miniseries about the British Royal Family. He is a 30 handicap golfer, drinks too much good wine, and has never been awarded the Nobel Prize for anything.

Buy the book at Amazon.

So today I have an excerpt, guest post, and a review! 

Excerpt:

If only that asshole Y.A. Tittle hadn’t decided to run out the clock against the Eagles last Sunday instead of kicking a field goal and covering the spread. The bald little prick didn’t give a shit. It wasn’t his $450 on the line.

The shark operated out of a bar and grill in Hempstead, and charged 28% a week. The needle on the 1951 Ford Falcon was twitching around the E mark. He’d have to stop for gas in Brooklyn. He was juggling a lot of balls, and keeping them all in the air at the same time was getting harder. He needed to get by till January, when he’d be finished with Torts and on to Contracts, which was a lot easier, and he was promised a raise.

When he’s been offered the job as Larry Porter’s administrative assistant, Jackie had jumped at it, even though he was going to law school at night.

Guest Post:

Scripts vs. Novels: Peter Lefcourt’s Take on the Similarities and Differences

The similarity pretty much begins and ends with the fact that both careers involve writing. But that’s about as far as it goes. As many other writers, I came to Los Angeles with the intention of making enough money to finance my lifestyle as a novelist. As it turned out, I found that television writing was not only lucrative but a good apprenticeship in the art of story-telling. You learn how to tell a story economically, which is an invaluable skill in fiction writing. And you learn how to write to a deadline. On the other hand, you soon learn that in Hollywood the writer is a fungible element in filmmaking, summarily replaced by another writer when he/she offers resistance to all the “creative” input from directors, studio execs, producers, and actors. You are, essentially, a hired gun, at the beck and call of others – a well-paid hired gun perhaps, to be sure, but one with very little control over the product.

Moreover, there is very little “voice” in screenwriting. In books it is often the way you tell a story and not the story itself that compels readers. I am drawn to language and voice; and with the possible exception of a facility for dialogue (a skill that is almost impossible to teach: I learned how people talk driving a cab in New York in the sixties – an education worth more, in my opinion, than a PHD in Creative Writing) -- these elements are not valued in screenwriting.

Nevertheless, Hollywood has allowed me the wherewithal to travel a great deal, to perfect the craft of story telling and, ultimately, to reinvent myself as a novelist and have both careers mutually reinforce each other. I’m not sure I would have succeeded in one without the other.

Review:

When President Kennedy is assassinated, people across the United States were shocked. This is no different for the Perl family in Long Island. Spanning from the 1960's to 2011, this book tells the story of the Perl family. Nathan, the father, and his second wife Lillian are parents to 5 children. Jackie is a law student with a penchant for gambling and drinking. Mickey is the businessman, always looking for a way to make money. Elaine is in school becoming a teacher. Stephen feels like he doesn't fit in with his family and most of the world around him. Roberta is the rebellious one, more interested in experimenting with things than anything else. Through the years this clan will go through numerous changes in their family and the world around them. As time passes, they will all learn what being a family truly means.

This book is able to draw you in immediately with the use of a major historical event like the assassination of President Kennedy. You get a good feel for the characters by their reactions to that one event. This carries on through the years. Sometimes you get to see their reactions to major parts of history, but other times you get to see them deal with the everyday parts of life that we all have to deal with. Many of the Perls really struggle with finding their place in this world (or at least the place that brings them the most happiness). Bobbie had probably the most "stereotypical" experience of what you expect from that era- she loves drugs, rock and roll, and her freedom. I found Elaine's story to be the easiest to relate to in some ways. She really struggles with being expected to just be a wife and mom.

Sometimes I felt the sheer number of characters to be a bit hard to keep up with, but I am also horrible with remembering names. One thing this book really reminded me was how much things have changed in such a short amount of time. I found a beautiful sense of family with the Perls. They don't always agree, and they certainly weren't perfect. However, they really did take care of each other. The ending brought things full circle in an amazing way. I also appreciated that the family participated in history in very normal ways. The family wasn't just thrown into events in dubious manners. Overall, I was really just touched by this story. The Perls really could represent almost any American family. This book will make you laugh and maybe even cry, and in the end you will really feel a great sense of inclusion in and love for this great fabric of people that make this world a wonderful place to live.

Galley provided for review.

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the tour for more great excerpts, posts, and more!

Thanks for stopping by!





Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Lost Curse Blog Tour





When it comes to tracking down ancient treasures, Jonathon’s pretty sure he knows what he’s doing. But even his time in Peru couldn’t prepare him for the dangers lurking in his own backyard. Now he must reunite with old friends to protect the secrets inside the sacred mountain temple of Carre Shinob. Suspenseful and surprising, this is an edge-of-your-seat adventure from page one.




Meet the Author:


I’m terrified of spiders, can’t fry eggs, and my inability to bake a chocolate chip cookie has become family legend. But blessings come from weaknesses. None of my children have a pet tarantula. My husband volunteers to fry the eggs for breakfast. And all of my sons and daughters are expert cookie bakers. Life if like that–it compensates for our weaknesses by sending others into our lives. Isn’t that wonderful? Writing books and reading them is another wonderful way we can strengthen ourselves and others. I believe it is a writer’s duty to craft words that lift people and help them feel better about their personal lives and those around them, to see the good in life. That is a responsibility I take very seriously. You can learn more about T. Lynn’s writing at tlynnadams.blogspot.com. And don’t forget to check out her other book:

Review:

Jonathon is excited to have his friend from Peru, Sevarino, come and visit him. Sevarino saved Jonathon's life in Peru , so Jonathon wants to pay him back a bit. A simple camping trip turns into a horrible situation for the two boys and their friend Tallie when they all get caught up in a huge mess. Jonathon finds some old Spanish coins and artifacts, but it appears he's not the only one interested. The 3 young people will have to quickly figure out who they can trust if they are going to survive this adventure.

If you are looking for adventure and excitement, this is the book for you. There were so many twists and turns my head was spinning. I caught on fairly quickly that this was a sequel, but I don't think I suffered too much by not having read the first book. I was able to catch up on what had happened. Jonathon, Sevarino, and Tallie were great friends. They were the kind of people you would always want to have on your side. The bad guys were pretty bad. The fun part though was figuring out exactly who the bad guys were and what they were after. Just when I though I had everything figured out, new facts came out that changed things.

One of my favorite things was the amount of Native American history and folk lore. I liked that the history of the Paiutes wasn't white-washed in any way. Their suffering wasn't ignored. It was also great to have so many different cultures and peoples represented. This book is a great adventure that I think boys and girls will both enjoy. There's also some wonderful science used to explain "supernatural" things, and I thought this was really great. Overall, a very fun book. I'm going to hunt down the first one I think, because if this book is any representative it must be a great read!

Galley provided for review.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Isabella: Protector of the Last Dragon Blog Tour

Description: Isabella Protector




An ancient Chinese celestial dragon–unearthed in the frozen mountains of Mongolia, miraculously survives and looks to locate a twelve year old girl whose the key to fighting the demons that chased him out of his kingdom, and to find his female mate.




Review:


Isabella has always been a bit different. She and her brother Kaelyn have an interesting life, but they love it. When their mother passes away, Isabella and Kaelyn go to live with their Uncle Titus. Isabella is also given an amulet by her mother who tells Isabella to never take it off. Isabella soon begins having strange dreams about dragons and demons. The demons become reality one night though, so Isabella and her family know they need to take control of the situation. Isabella will discover her destiny in the form of an ancient dragon, Tianlong. The ensuing adventure will take Isabella and her family to Mongolia in search of Tianlong's mate. Between the humans and the demons though, this won't be an easy journey.


So normally I kind of gloss over technical issues with the writing when I review books. I don't expect perfection, particularly with self-published books or smaller publishers who may not have the resources. However, in this case the issues were too large to ignore. This book could have really used a pass or two by an editor. Verb tenses were never consistent, punctuation seemed randomly sprinkled about, and wrong or misspelled words abounded. The problem with this is that it made the story very hard to follow at times. Sometimes the book read like a screenplay, with ideas and events that probably should have been conveyed through dialogue were written like stage directions. I just felt like even your average beta reader would have cleaned up a lot of these problems and made a much more coherent story.


On to happier topics like the plot. There were some very interesting things in this book. I loved that the story focused so much on Asia. It was a nice change from the usual Westernized fantasy stories. I also loved, loved having so many persons of color in one story. How great is it to have a strong, independent girl of so many different ethnicities and races? Isabella's relationships with her family members were very sweet. They all relied on each other so much, but they were still able to have fun while supporting each other. I also really enjoyed that Tianlong had a personality. Humanizing the dragon as it were was a very smart move. It allowed me to relate to Tianlong more. Overall this is a very technically flawed book, but it has the potential to be a great story.


Book provided for review.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop



Welcome to the Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!


I hope everyone is getting settled into their summer schedule. Our summer hasn't been as hot as last year, so we have definitely been enjoying it more. 


Today I am going to do two giveaways- one international and one US only.

First is the international giveaway:


a $10 Amazon.com gift code or $10 in books from Book Depository!



Please check to ensure that Book Depository delivers to your country.


The second, US only giveaway is a copy of Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva. You can check out my review here. If you like mermaids, fantasy, paranormal, or watching The Deadliest Catch, you will find something to enjoy in this book!


Description: drowning mermaids

How do you enter?

Choose one or any or all of the following:
1. Follow on GFC
2.  Follow on Twitter
3. Like on Facebook
4. Friend on Goodreads


There will be two rafflecopter entry forms- one for everyone and one for the book. 

That's all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the other blogs on the hop. Good luck!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glamorous Illusions Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren!



It was the summer of 1913, and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, so is her father's health. Cora is carrying on, helping her mother run their Montana farm until a stranger comes to call, and everything changes. Cora then learns a secret that will radically change her future: she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king who has come to claim her.  

Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person's education, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France with half-siblings she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of the Kensington family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning.


Faced with the challenge of accepting her father, new family, and the identity that comes with it, Cora also struggles to accept that she is also the daughter of the one true King-a Father who is the only One who can truly heal.




About Lisa: 

Litfuse
Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book,BreatheSing and Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time.

Lisa's time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She's married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids-Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).

All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For more information on Lisa and to view other books written, please visit her website: http://lisatawnbergren.com





Review:


Cora has been living a fairly good life. She's been given the chance to get off her parents' farm and go to teaching college. When her dad suffers a stroke, Cora realizes going back to finish her teaching certificate may not be possible. All her time and money is going in to keeping the farm afloat. Her dad needs more help than anyone in town can give him though. All this leads to the biggest surprise of Cora's life. The only father she has ever know has turned out to not be her biological father. In truth, Cora is the daughter of a huge mining baron. Her biological father comes to offer Cora's family the care her father needs, but he also wants to take Cora under his wing and declare her his daughter. When he won't accept no for an answer, Cora finds herself embarking on the experience of a lifetime- the Grand Tour of Europe. Cora will see and do things she never imagined, all while trying to determine what her future truly holds.

This book was a joy to read on many levels. First, the whole idea of the Grand Tour enthralls me. How cool would it be to be able to just travel around Europe, seeing amazing sights and meeting amazing people? Of course, only the very wealthy could go, so I would have been out. It's a brilliant concept though. Having Cora be an illegitimate daughter allows the reader to relate to her more. Cora has a very hard time adjusting to her new situation in life, and she definitely does not get easy acceptance into these new social services. She can't help but be amazed and excited at her circumstances though. Who can blame her? I found it very interesting to watch Cora struggle with her duel identities. Her past and her future were so vastly different, so it was fun to see her deciding to forge her own path.

Of course, no grand novel would be complete without some romance. In this case, there are two potential beaus competing for Cora. One seems to represent her past, while the other is clearly a part of this new reality. While it was interesting to watch things play out, I know which one I preferred. I was frustrated (in a good way) by the ending. I was dying for more, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series! The ending wraps up well, but there are some loose ends that definitely left me hanging. This book will be appealing to a lot of people. The travel, history, and romance aspects are very enjoyable. I even found the fashion to be enthralling. I seriously enjoyed this book, and I will be looking out for the next in the series. I highly recommend this book.

Book provided for review.




What is our "true" identity? Join the conversation at Lisa Tawn Bergren's Glamorous Illusions Author Chat Facebook Event Page. On the evening of 6/27 we'll gather to talk about our spiritual journey, share our stories and a few laughs.

In the meantime, celebrate with Lisa by entering her Glamorous Illusions Giveaway!


One "glamorous" winner will receive a "Glam Prize Pack":

  • A $350 Visa Cash Card (Oh ... think of what you could do: treat yourself to a mani/pedi, a fabulous new dress, dinner for two, or even a two-night escape in a lovely hotel - you're only limited by your imagination!)
  • Glamorous Illusions (by Lisa Tawn Bergren)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 6/26/12. Winner will be announced at Lisa's "Glamorous Illusions" Facebook Party on  6/27 {Fun begins at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT}. Lisa will be hosting an evening of meaningful chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Lisa via video or phone.)

So grab a few of your friends and your copy of Glamorous Illusions and join Lisa on the evening of June 27th for an evening of fun.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Charlie's Girl Blog Tour



Welcome to the blog tour for Charlie's Girl by Mary-Helen and Daniel Foxx!

Fourteen-year-old Rosalind has always been a foster girl without a past, until she’s sent to live with a long-lost grandmother in a house full of memories—and secrets. Soon Rosalind discovers that there’s more to her family history than she ever dreamed. Set in 1960s South Carolina, this unforgettable story of family, friendship, and faith is perfect for readers of all ages.

Meet the Authors:

Mary-Helen Foxx retired in 2009 after a long career in public education with the Peoria Unified School District where she worked primarily in library services and IT. She has written widely on genealogical topics and has authored four books on the histories of prominent Southern families. Mary-Helen was also a contributing editor for three years with “Georgia Genealogical Magazine” and has won awards for her writing.
Daniel is Professor Emeritus of History at Ottawa University in Phoenix and has been published in various academic and historical journals. He is the author ofI Only Laugh When It Hurts (Reissued by Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, LA, 2009). His latest book, Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigmawith Eddy W. Davison (Pelican, 2007) was a National Book Awards nominee, received the 2008 Arizona Book Award for biography, and was finalist for the 2008 Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Award.

Learn more about the book and find links to buy it here!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Title:The Snow Child
Author:Eowyn Ivey
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date:2/1/2012
ISBN:0316175676 (ISBN13: 9780316175678)
Pages:400

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone—but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.




(Summary and cover via Goodreads)
            **************************************************

Jack and Mabel have moved to the wilds of Alaska. It's supposed to be something they do together; something that brings them closer. Mabel feels the opposite happening. All she can feel is despair. One day though, she sees something amazing. A little girl is flitting through the snow. Soon Mabel and Jack take the child, Faina, in to help take care of her. Jack and Mabel grow to love Faina, and they raise her as their own. What it seems nature has given though can just as quickly be taken away. Not before Mabel and Jack see their own lives drastically change though.

This book was kind of amazing. The way the author draws you in and makes you feel Mabel's loneliness is amazing. I could feel every bit of what Mabel was feeling. The ability to describe the Alaska wilderness was fantastic. You get a great feel for just how stark it was out there. Every emotion felt by the characters is shared by you as a reader. I felt strongest for Mabel. At least Jack got to go out and work. For the most part Mabel was confined near the house, and this lead to some deep depression on her part. When she sees the snow child, you can feel her start to change. As Faina interacts with Jack and Mabel more, you feel a lightness being brought into her character that was not there before.

This book manages to be heartwarming and heartbreaking at once. That's a fairly fine line, but the author does a great job of capturing both. I felt so touched by everything, and the ending was both somewhat happy and hard for me to read.  I think this is a marvelous book, and one that many people will enjoy reading. It is definitely worth putting on your "must read" lists!

Galley provided for review.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Ferryman and the Flame Book Blast


Welcome to The Ferryman & The Flame Ultimate Fan Contest!




Flame of Surrender (The Ferryman & the Flame Book 1)


Kaliel and Krishani weren't meant to meet or fall in love but they did. Krishani’s dreams of death lead him to a fate he’s terrified of - becoming the next Ferryman. His only refuge is Kaliel, the peculiar girl that swims with merfolk and talks to trees. Kaliel has a secret of her own. She’s the Amethyst Flame, one of nine apocalyptic weapons. The Valtanyana will destroy everything on Avristar to get to her. Kaliel has to choose: face them, hide or unleash the Flame. 


How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?





 Countdown for the next book in the series:








Choose your team!

 



Rhiannon Paille
I was never a normal girl. My life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape my everyday weirdness I began writing fantasy. I studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. I'm married to a chef/comic book shop owner and I have a fondness for architecture. I frequent twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know me you should visit my site: www.yafantasyauthor.com


Author of The Ferryman and The Flame Series
Flame of Surrender on GoodreadsAmazonSmashwordsB&NIndigoKobo
Flame of Justice release date: October 2012
Flame of the Apocalypse release date: October 2013
Follow Me: TwitterFacebookBlogWebsite

Giveaway Details:
$100 Amazon.com Gift Card
Terms and conditions
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. 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 affiliated with Amazon, 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire




Title:Timepiece
Author:Myra McEntire
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Pub. Date:6/12/2012
ISBN:1606841459 (ISBN13: 9781606841457)
Pages:336




A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results. 

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.


(Summary and cover via Goodreads)
            **************************************************

The whole gang is back in this follow-up to Hourglass. They've noticed time rips are becoming more prevalent and erratic. This coincides with the return of Jack Landers, the man responsible for much death and manipulation. Emerson, Michael, and Kaleb are given an ultimatum by another man though. He represents a group that want Jack for themselves. The Hourglass group find themselves involved in something way beyond what they ever thought could be. Kaleb will have to learn to work with Emerson's best friend Lily to hone their abilities and find Jack before more problems occur.

I was excited to read this book, and I was a little surprised to find it written from Kaleb's point-of-view. I found this a little harder to get into as Kaleb wasn't a very sympathetic character to me. Even knowing what he had gone through in the first book, I still found him to be a bit of a jerk in the beginning of this book. Luckily, things improved after a bit. Kaleb really began to grow, and this helped the narrative to be much more entertaining. The increasing action in the plot didn't hurt either. Kaleb's relationships with certain characters were a bit predictable, but I still found myself cheering Kaleb on. I actually went from not liking him at all to finding him rather enjoyable by the end. That's really fun when a book can do that.

The time travel stuff is very intriguing. I found myself coming up with all kinds of wacky theories, none of which turned out to be true. The upside to this is I was constantly guessing about what would happen next. I thought the ending was a little too neat though. More hanging threads would have been okay. One thing I will say is that this book is unique in that I feel it really did well as a stand-alone story. You could easily read this book without having read the first and not really miss a step. Some of this was due to the change in narrative voice. It just made it feel so different from the first book. Overall, I was very entertained. It's one of those books that you stay up late to read because you are dying to see how it ends. I'm very interested in seeing what the next book brings as well. This was a great book that I highly recommend.

Galley provided for review.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Angel Eyes Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore!




Litfuse

Once you've seen, you can't unsee. Everything changes when you've looked at the world through . . .Angel Eyes

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She's come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can't seem to shake.

Jake's the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what's going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons-and Brielle-can perceive.


About Shannon: 

Litfuse
Shannon is a wife and mother. A sister. A daughter. A friend. She was raised in Northern California by her parents-pastors of their local church and constant figures of inspiration.

As a youth, Shannon traveled with an award-winning performing arts team, excelling on stage and in the classroom. As a young adult, she attended Portland Bible College, continued acting, and worked with an outreach team targeting inner-city kids in the Portland-Metropolitan area.

It was in Portland that she met her husband, Matt. They were married in 2002. Soon after, they took the reins of the youth ministry at Living Way Community Church in Roseville, California where they continue to serve in that capacity. In October of 2004, their son Justus was born, followed by their daughter Jazlyn, born in 2008. 

Find out more at www.shannondittemore.com.





Review:


Brielle has lived a charmed life until recently. Receiving the chance to move to a bigger city to live out her dreams seemed like an amazing prospect. Then tragedy struck, and Brielle will never be the same. When she moves back to her small hometown, she meets a new boy. Jake will open Brielle's eyes to a world she never knew existed. As Brielle learns the truth about her present and her past, she will be forced to make some hard decisions and live with some difficult truths. Luckily, she has way more help then she ever imagined.

Angels and demons may not be a unique concept, but they are handled in a very fun and different way in this book. I loved Brielle. She was really a good person, she just doesn't always know it. Dealing with her guilt about the cards she had been thrown was so sad, so I was very happy when Jake could step in and help her begin the healing process. Of course Jake was the kind of guy readers will swoon over. The rest of the "good guys" really helped show how many ways people could be put into Brielle's life to help them. Who doesn't want to have a celestial support system looking after them?

I really enjoyed this book. I've read a few angel books, but this one was a bit different in good ways. There were even some surprises that truly shocked me. I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. There are a lot of interesting issues touched on as well. This was a really good read that many people will enjoy!

Galley provided for review.



Celebrate with Shannon by entering her "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 6/26!

Find out what readers are saying here.


One "angelic" winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Nook Color
  • A copy of Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Angel Eyes" Author Chat Facebook Party on 6/26. Shannon will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Angel Eyes and join Shannon on the evening of the June 26th for a chance to meet Shannon and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!


Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour. Thanks for stopping by!

Drowning Mermaids Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva!
Description: drowning mermaids

Deep under Arctic waters lies an ice kingdom carved into a glacier. Those who dwell within it possess magnificent biological secrets. Due to the dangers of impending war, the Princess of Adlivun is forced to flee her undersea utopia and regroup with her sisters in Alaska.

Captain Trevain Murphy is a successful king crab fisherman who has spent his life building his empire above the sea, and knows nothing of the empire beneath it. When he meets a mysterious dancer whose father has just died, he extends kindness towards her, unaware of her unique genetics and royal lineage.

Trevain’s attraction to the enigmatic Aazuria Vellamo will involve him in dangerous designs that will forever change his life, and his perspective on himself and his world. He embarks on perilous journeys in which he will need to release all of his insecurities and inhibitions in order to survive.

Review:

Trevain Murphy has a great life for the most part. Captain of his own crabbing vessel, Trevain has done very well for himself. Until recently. They lost a member of their crew somehow, and Trevain blames himself. While drowning his sorrow as a local gentlemen's club, he sees the most beautiful dancer ever. She draws him in immediately, and he is determined to meet her. He learns her name is Aazuria, but what he doesn't know is that Aazuria has many secrets. She is the princess of a kingdom of people under the Bering Sea. Trevain will soon find himself caught up in the problems of Aazuria's kingdom, but nothing will top the other secrets he will learn. Trevain's life will be completely altered.

This was a very interesting concept. I liked the unique plot points, and there were some definite surprises in store. There are quite a few things I'd love to talk about, but I don't want to spoil things for anyone. The contrast in speaking styles was a great way to highlight the differences in demeanor of the different characters. Aazuria seemed to be a very calm and positive influence on just about everyone she encountered. She had been forced to make a lot of very difficult decisions in her life. I think that both she and Trevain ultimately wanted the same things- to feel complete freedom.

I think the highs and lows of Aazuria's and Trevain's relationships did seem a but abrupt at times. I think the development there was just a tiny bit rushed. I mentioned there were a lot of twists and turns, and I didn't see a couple of the things coming even though they were hinted at. This helped me want to keep turning pages to see what would happen next. I'm looking forward to the next book in the adventure. In a world full of paranormal YA books, this one takes a unique and different approach to the genre. I feel like "merpeople" hasn't been done as much. I would have liked to learn more about all the underwater politics; they sounded very complex. Overall, it was a fast and enjoyable read. People who enjoy underwater adventures and a very different romance story should check this one out.

Book provided for review.