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Happy New Year Giveaway Hop!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Yay for a new year and new beginnings, pick a book of your choice ^^

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Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hope you all have had a great Holiday!!!

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7 Reasons to Spoil Yourself With The Sullivans-Great Prizes too!

Did you get a new eReader for Christmas, and are now looking for something awesome to read? Or, maybe you didn’t get anything good and want to spoil yourself a little with the chance to win that coveted eReader, some major gift cards, or other awesome prizes. Maybe you just need to relax after hurry-scurrying around all season. Well...
Wouldn't it be nice to take a long hot bath or snuggle under your favorite blanket with a great read? Sounds like the perfect day, right? Hey, we can offer you something even better than that. In fact, we can offer you something seven times better! For starters, we can offer you up to seven review copies of Bella Andre's New York Times and USA Today best-selling contemporary romance series The Sullivans. We'll introduce you to—not just one, but—each and every member of the Sullivan family on their quests to find happiness. Even though most of them aren't even really looking for love, it has a way of finding them anyway. These sexy, emotional and funny novels will nurse all your literary and metaphorical desires. You'll laugh and cry right along with the characters, and get hooked into these great stories right from the very first page. They even take place in lovely California, giving you the opportunity to travel by proxy and escape the windy winter doldrums. What's that you say? The books sound awesome, but you're not sure why you have to join the tour to enjoy their awesomeness? There are so many reasons to sign-up. Since there are seven books (so far) in The Sullivans series and seven that will be taking part in this extraordinarily large tour, let's stay right on theme and discuss seven reasons why you need to join the fun, pronto.

The perks

Not only will you get to read a great novel—or two, or three, or seven—but you'll also get... 1. The opportunity to network with other bloggers and avid readers. 2. The option to host a guest post, excerpt or interview with best-selling author Bella Andre. This will bring new readers to your blog AND give you content for your blog—what's better, a post you didn't even have to write yourself. If your New Year looks as hectic as mine, having a guest post is almost as good as reading an awesome book... because it means I'll have TIME to READ that great book. 3. The chance to interact directly with the author through a number of social media activities, discussions, and awesome giveaways .  

But wait, there's more!

4. Literally, there are more books. If you love The Sullivans, you can find half a dozen more books just waiting for your eager hands and mind. AND REVIEW COPIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL SEVEN! WOWZA! 5. Kick start your New Year's resolution to read more! Plus you get hours of entertainment absolutely free—you may even win something (which makes the deal even sweeter). 6. The Sullivans will make you fall in love. You'll love the writing, the humor, the characters, and the stories. You might even find hope for true love within these pages. 7. If you've ever wished for your own happy ending—heck, even if you've already found it—there's something in each of these novels you'll be able to identify with. We all know life isn't perfect, and the Sullivans know that too. They're so real, reading the book is almost like watching a movie or watching somebody's real life unfold right in front of your eyes.  

Did I forget to mention the prizes?

The prizes are ridonkulous. We've got romantic swag baskets, hundreds of dollars gift cards, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, AND a Sony eReader to name a few. Well I guess there's just one more reason to join us on the biggest tour Novel Publicity has ever put together. More books, more bloggers, more buzz and, of course, more prizes!

Oh, did you want specific details?

Sullivan Tour Badge Learn what all the buzz is about when you receive review copies of the first 7 books in this on-going series. Read one, or read them all. Or, you could host an excerpt, interview, or guest post instead–and we’ll even put that together for you. Tour Dates: January 7 to 20, 2013 Genre: Contemporary Romance Page Count: approx 300 pages each CAUTION: Explicit language, very steamy love scenes…and lots of emotion! The Prizes: * iPad Mini * Kindle Fire * Nook Color * Kobo eReader * $100 Amazon gift cards (7 prizes) * $50 Amazon gift cards (2 prizes) * $25 Amazon gift cards (8 prizes) * $20 iTunes gift cards (10 prizes) * Custom prize baskets for EACH of the 7 books–including items such as wine gift set, silver bracelets, romantic photo books and photo frames, eReader and smart phone skins, and MUCH, MUCH more! …and we’ve got special prizes just for participating bloggers   Read summaries and excerpts on the sign-up page.  

Interview with Kassy Taylor!

 Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

1. The dome seems so forbidding and yet strangely comforting (when you consider the supposed alternative), would you ever live inside "the dome?"

I guess it depends on the alternative. I enjoy being outside and would definitely miss the sky and the trees and the mountains.  It also depends on the restrictions.  I could never give up my pets, nor would I want myself, or my children and my children's children to be restricted in what they could do with their lives.  Everyone should be able to follow their dreams.

2. Did you draw on your own or others' personality traits for Wren? Was she difficult or easy to write about?

I'm a dreamer, like Wren.  I would like to think I have her courage but I've never been tested as she has.  Wren came to me as a full blown character. She's her own person, not a model of anyone else.

3. What can readers expect from Wren in this book? A lot of questions and a lot of determination.  She's a deep thinker, but once she decides on something, she sticks to it and goes after it.

4. What was your main inspiration for writingAshes of Twilight?  i wanted to pay tribute to the miners in West Virginia who lost their lives in the coal mines, including my Uncle, who the book is dedicated too.

5. Which scene was your favorite to write about?  the scene where Pace is stuck in the tunnels because I am claustrophobic too.

6. What can we expect in any follow-up books (and we hope there are a few!)? A lot of action and growing up on Wren's part once they are outside and a new young man from America named Levi Addison that has Wren questioning her feelings for Pace. The next book is Shadows Of Glass and will be out next July.

Cindy Holby

Ashes of Twilight By: Kassy Tayler

Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out.  Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.”  What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

Goodreads Summary

All life exists in a dome maintained by slaves.  This dystopian idea is intriguing and interesting.  Wren MacAvoy lost her best friend, Alex, after he left the dome and was burned to death to warn the other slaves.  Now, Wren cannot help but wonder if he was right; could life exist outside the dome?  This is the question that drives the book forward.
I was really excited by the cover of Ashes of Twilight, but had a hard time getting into the world Kassy Tayler created.  This is probably because I like narrators with lots of power behind their words and actions; doers, not questioners.  Wren failed to impress me because she had a million questions, but just kept thinking of more questions rather than doing much about them.  However, these questions may be answered in the next book-which I am definitely picking up!  I think more action would have helped me fall into the book.
The style this book was written in did not agree with me.  However, writing style is not something that should really be critiqued.  If you like longer sentences and lots of information about what is happening in a character’s head, this book is for you.  If not, I would say to look elsewhere for your next read.
Ashes of Twilight seems like a good book for teen girls.  I could imagine many of my friends reading this novel.  Kassy Tayler’s book was not for me but that does not mean that it is a “bad” novel, just that I have different preferences in reading material.  The idea behind Ashes of Twilight is a good one.  I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.        

3 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

My Monster Burrufu By: Alberto Corral

Saturday, December 29, 2012
My Monster Burrufu

Seven-year-old Olivia has just moved to a new house—the same house where a lonely monster named Burrufu lives hidden in a secret attic. One night, unable to resist the smell of delicious cookies, Burrufu sneaks out and is discovered by Olivia. The two soon learn that you can find friendship in the most unexpected places.

My Monster Burrufu is a story of overcoming fear, a curse, and a most unusual monster who learns from a little girl how to trust his heart.

Goodreads Summary

My 8 year old niece and I started reading this story of a girl and her
monster.  It held her attention for a couple of chapters, but then she
went off to do something else.  We didn’t finish it together, but I think
she missed the best parts of the book.  The vocabulary was probably too
old for her; however, I know from reading to my own daughters that kids
pick up a lot from context.  It’s great to have them reach a little beyond
their usual understanding of words and situations!  My niece and I loved
the illustrations – yes, we skimmed ahead to see the pictures.  The
picture of Olivia hanging upside down in the attic is hilarious.  I
finished the book on my own (once I start a book I have to finish it, and
I’m glad that I did).

My niece thought that the way Olivia tried to catch and then befriend
Burrufu was clever and fun.  We set up a monster trap that day.  (Someone
ate the cookies, but we never caught the monster…her uncle.)  The fantasy
of the story – Burrufu who can grow 100 feet tall and jump hundreds of
miles away in a few minutes with Olivia on his back – is really
imaginative.  Burrufu’s exile, hiding from everyone because his appearance
is frightening, makes Burrufu an especially loveable character.  My niece
would have loved that he wrote books since she likes to make up stories
that we illustrate and put in book form.

The concept of the story seems aimed at a younger audience than the actual
writing seems to fit.  I’m not sure that a younger child’s attention would
be held through the whole book even though I thought this story of
friendship and adventure was cute and touching.  I also kept picturing
this book as a short animated story.  Reading the author’s and
illustrator’s experience with Dreamworks, Disney, Cartoon Network, and the
BBC may have influenced that perception.

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Interview and Guest Post with Ryan Casey!

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? Tough question. I think it would have to be the future, as fascinating as the past is. I think a lot of people think they could just jump into the past and be understood, language-wise, and everything, but of course language is a completely different beast now to how it was. And fashion, too. I wouldn’t want to end up arrested for wearing a bit of colour on my T-shirt, or anything like that. The future is fascinating, but there’s also a problem — what if the Earth has vanished, or something? I’d hate to step out of my Tardis and drop into eternal oblivion. The present day–I’m cool with that.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Very interesting. There would have to be some sort of balance. Like, I’d probably invite Chuck Palahniuk because I think he’s a fantastic writer. I’m a big fan of my music too, so perhaps a genius like Trent Reznor. I have a feeling him and Palahniuk would get on just fine, too, so that’s all good. I’d get Ryan Gosling to come along because he’s probably the coolest person alive right now. I’d invite George W. Bush, although that might cause some friction. I don’t particularly like the man on a political level, but I’m fascinated by George W. Bush ‘the man’. Fascinating character, I feel. I’d like to learn about what drives him, and the like. My fifth guest would be Natalie Portman. She could sit next to me. Just a thought.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? My mind. I’d hate to go completely insane on an island, so keeping my sanity would be absolutely top priority. Then again, if I’m alone on an island, I’m not sure it would matter so much really. I’d also absolutely require my music collection and some way of keeping it charged. Is that three things? Can I turn that into an iPad perhaps? That way I get internet, music, films…yeah, my third item could be a working WiFi connection. That way I’d get in touch with my Facebook friends, track myself on Maps, and get the search party out to get me before the battery ran out. Oh, it’s Apple Maps? God help me then.

What is one book everyone should read? The Power of Now. I’m not necessarily someone who sings the praises of self-help books or anything like that, but it’s such an enriching and life-changing read. I don’t believe in all of the principles, but it’s a fantastic way to reframe your life and the way you live it. Once you break down that illusion of the past and the future, the present becomes all the more important to you.

If you were a superhero what would your name be? Damn, I’m awful at these name things. I’m going to cop out and suggest my own name. RyanCasey. Then it’d catch on and just become standard superhero jargon.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Teleportation would be awesome because it’d cut out so many boring journeys in life. Imagine the hours and days we’d save if we could just go, ‘alright, take me to [WHEREVER].’ We could visit the wonders of the world in the space of a few hours. That would be brilliant, truly brilliant.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla. Not the Mr Whippy stuff, as nice as that is, but the proper old-fashioned ice-cream from those amazing ice-cream stalls in English seaside villages. Gorgeous stuff.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? There’s a few, but I’d love to meet one of history’s great villains. Just try to see what drives them, see if they do normal everyday things like drink tea and water the flowers. And if it started to get awkward for me, I could always just teleport out of there with my superpower.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? I hate breakfast. But I always eat it ‘cause I’m kind of mad about having three meals a day, and it’s such an important meal. When I’m in the mood, nothing beats a good English fry-up. Eggs, bacon, sausages… delicious.

Night owl, or early bird? I love the idea of being an early bird, but I’m most certainly a night owl. I always have the intention of getting up early and starting fresh, but technology has ruined any hopes of me getting an early night. The iPad is sleep’s biggest enemy, and I absolutely love it for it.

One food you would never eat? I’m pretty open to anything, however I don’t think I could stomach live squid. The thought of it wriggling around in my mouth brings me to a point of heaving. Also, I couldn’t touch rotten milk. That’s one university experience I’d rather keep firmly in my past, thank you very much.

Pet Peeves? People who go over the top with how busy they are. It’s like, sure, you’re busy, that’s fine. But we’re all busy. You’re not the only person to have ever have been busy in history.

Skittles or M&Ms? Skittles. Especially the purple ones.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. What We Saw is a childhood mystery novel for adults that covers coming-of-age, discovery, and lots of dark, dark stuff.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I’m working on a new first draft at the moment, too. It’s kind of a ballsy thriller about a contract killer (poetic, I know). I don’t want to talk about it too much yet, but it should be out some time next year. I find talking too far in advance takes the energy away from a project. As for goals: keep on writing. Get my name spread all over that digital shelfspace. It’s the best way to market one’s self, that’s for sure. Not that I’m rushing — just eager to stay focused.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. Every time someone tweets me, comments on my blog, or leaves a review, positive or negative. Seeing my work and effort recognised — that’s the biggest buzz of all.

What is your dream cast for your book? Sometimes when I’m writing, I have clear actors and actresses in my head, however in Something in the Cellar it didn’t really work like that. If I were to help in a cast selection process though, I’d love to see someone like Tilda Swinton in the lead role of Sandra. She proved in We Need To Talk About Kevin that she can capture that tough-but-mortified mother role perfectly. The imagery at the start of the accompanying story, The Runaway, is inspired by a French film called Martyrs, so I’d have Mylène Jampanoï in the lead role.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? I was mad for Lord of the Rings as a young-teen. I’d buy the figures and paint them, pick up basically any magazine covering it. I remember being really aggrieved at a certain scene not being included in Return of the King from the book. Probably the first time I got annoyed at an adaptation, as brilliant a piece of cinema as it is.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? YES. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It’s dark, dirty, and totally captures the mood of Something in the Cellar.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Stop calling yourself an aspiring author. The sooner you can rid yourself of that dreaded ‘aspiring author’ tag, the better. Seriously. By calling yourself an aspiring author, you’re committing yourself to a stasis that you’ll find it very difficult to break out from. You need to stop aspiring and start being — that, I would argue, is the greatest piece of advice I can give.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? I actually wanted to be a binman/trash collector. I used to enjoy playing with those toy bin-wagons. Funnily enough, I’ve mentioned said toy bin-wagons to friends and they’ve all given me a strange look. You know which ones I mean, right? Still, it could have been worse: one of my male friends aspired to be a ‘mummy’ when he grew up.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? Ryan Gosling, because he’s called Ryan and because I’d love to think I’m anywhere near as cool as him…

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Oh, totally. You see, I have a problem that all writers encounter whereby people who read my books see themselves in the pages. That’s just natural, I think — we project our reality into our fantasy worlds. However, I kind of see fragments of myself in each of my characters, because those characters are a part of my imagination, right? I guess it helps to be a little unstable as writer in that respect.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? Crazy ideas are just the best. I honestly believe that the crazy ideas are the ones that we should just run with. I tend to turn the craziest ones into shorter works, as with Something in the Cellar/The Runaway. What We Saw–my debut novel–is something of a breather from the craziness of those. But we’ll just have to see what the future holds on that front!

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? There’s so much good advice out there, I can’t even begin to narrow it down. However, a piece of advice that will always stick with me is to use criticism constructively. It’s so easy to get bogged down when somebody says they don’t like something or other, but it’s important to weigh up what the person actually says before immediately dismissing it. They could just be making the most important writing tip of your career.

Hidden talent? I can pick objects up between my toes rather successfully.

How do you react to a bad review? Take it on the chin and accept that no piece of work can please everyone. I do my damnedest to make sure the writing quality of my books is as good as it can be, so after that, it’s simply a matter of personal preference than anything. That said, I did receive a review for Something in the Cellar saying that the reader wasn’t a ‘fan of short stories and didn’t like open endings.’ That kind of baffles me a little — if you aren’t a fan of open-ended short stories, then why are you reading one? But still, I bit my tongue and carried on writing.

What do you do in your free time? Free time, haha. Being at university and being a writer doesn’t allow for much of that. But seriously, I listen to music and I watch the occasional film. I think music is a fantastic way to ground one’s self after a tough, busy day. It’s the best form of therapy, and everyone should give themselves an hour of listening every day.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? The Not-So-Accidental Zillionaire (I wish).

What’s your favorite season/weather? Summer when it’s winter, and winter when it’s summer.

Who or what inspired you to become an author? I know it’s the age old cliché but I’ve wanted to write stories ever since I was a little kid. I always remember being in the first year of school aged, like, five, and writing a 50-ish word epic about a girl who fell down the stairs and woke up on the loo to find it was all a dream, then fell down the stairs in reality. I guess that’s pretty deep for a five-year-old, but I knew right at that moment that writing was my calling.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? It was pretty surreal, actually. Me and my friend were having a few drinks and watching some film or another when I saw Something in the Cellar had gone live on Amazon at like, 2am. The funny thing is, it made two sales instantly. It was a pretty amazing feeling, and although it didn’t necessarily maintain such a pace throughout the rest of launch day, it was so cool seeing those two purchases. I wish I could find those buyers and thank them.

What is your guilty pleasure? I spend far too many hours playing the Football/Soccer Manager games. Not as many as some — I know friends who have put literally weeks of their life into this simulation — but too many. I’m currently on the verge of breaking Premier League history by winning it four times in a row with Chelsea. I should manage that just in time for this year’s update…

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? I’m not actually embarrassed about anything I watch or read. I guess the closest to embarrassing is probably Eastenders, a British soap-opera. It’s trashy, but it can get pretty gripping from time to time. It’s also pretty great watching it and thinking, ‘damn, if they let me write for them I could do THIS and THIS and THIS…’

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is…. The Dead Zone by Stephen King.

Favorite places to travel? I’d have to say Paris. I have a connection with that city. Maybe it’s the romantic within me speaking, I don’t know. Dubrovnik and Rome are pretty spectacular too.

Favorite music? I’m really into the latest Chromatics album at the moment. It’s one of those albums that requires a lot of time but leaves you feeling like the coolest person afterwards. Some amazing things going on in there: Italo Disco revival, gorgeous soundscapes. Brilliant record.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? Chuck Palahniuk. I think we’d throw some awesome ideas together. I reckon working with somebody like that could actually be very liberating too. Otherwise, Stephen King. He’s a master at creating worlds, and I’d very much love to be a part of that world-building process.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery / Coming of Age

Rating – PG15

More details about the book

Connect with Ryan Casey on Facebook & Twitter


Guest Post:

What are the mistakes you see in beginner writers?

by Ryan Casey

I feel slightly awkward talking about ‘beginner writers’, mainly because I still consider myself as one, in a way. Sure, I have a novel and a few short stories out, and granted, I have a blog with writing advice and musings. But I still feel young and fresh in the writing world.

However, there are always a few pearls of wisdom to pass on, even from just a few years of experience. There’s something that grates on me, and although I don’t like to discriminate against ‘beginner’ writers in particular because we’re all one at some stage, it is something that tends to sneak into the habits of those new to the scene.

That ‘something’ is social media abuse.

Now don’t get me wrong — I love Twitter. I tweet a few times per day, sharing content that interests me, general musings, and stuff that I think my followers will enjoy.

I also tweet the occasional promotional link, if I have a new release out, or am promoting a sale.

Note the key word there. Occasional. Promotional spam is where I think a lot of beginner writers fall down, and it’s something that needs to be cut out as soon as possible unless you want to garner a reputation you can’t shake.

I’ll tell you a little hypothetical story. I followed a writer on Twitter. She used to tweet about her own books a lot. I’m talking several times an hour. People moaned about it, tried to kindly tell her that what she was doing wasn’t helping her career.

Where is she three months on? Taking a break from writing to reassess her options.

It’s painful when people give up their dream based on such a minor error of judgement, especially when it’s an error that can be so easily cut out. Sure, it’s tempting to tweet loads of promotional stuff when sales dry up, but it’s important to remember that sales do dry up from time to time. It’s a long game. Instead of selling your soul to promotional spam, use the time to work on a new release instead.

But how do you know whether you are spamming or not? Well, ask yourself the question, ‘would I enjoy reading this?’ If so, then you’re probably fine. If not, then reassess your social media habits. It’ll benefit in the long run, believe me.

Dark Side of Sunset Pointe: Book Feature and Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery & Thrillers
Rating – R
Connect with Michael Allan Scott on Facebook & Twitter
Lance Underphal was devastated by his wife’s death, and now, the down-and-out crime-scene photographer can’t let her go. He wakes up plagued by premonitions. The double shooting of an Arizona real estate developer and his mistress/bookkeeper immerse Underphal in a world of incomprehensible phenomena.
Frank Salmon, the hard-boiled homicide detective on the case, does his best to blow off Underphal’s “visions.” But the murders keep piling up and the visions are all-too real.
Salmon reluctantly pursues Underphal’s twists and turns, leading him from a popular strip club to a failing community bank, adding a blackmailing stripper’s murder to the body count.
Underphal struggles mightily with his psychic curse, teetering on the brink of insanity. His only hope for redemption is the voice in his head, the voice of his dead wife. Stumbling through dark vortexes of murderous intrigue, he comes to realize his visions will either kill him or lead to the capture of a killer-maybe more than one.
About the author 
Born and raised at the edge of the high desert in Kingman, Arizona, Michael Allan Scott resides in Scottsdale with his wife, Cynthia and their hundred-pound Doberman, Otto. In addition to writing mysteries and speculative fiction, his interests include music, photography, art, scuba diving and auto racing.

*FREE ALERT* - Dark Side of Sunset of Pointe will be free from 28th December to 30th December. 
Giveaway is a Kindle Fire HD 7″
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The Liar Society: The Lies That Bind By: Lisa & Laura Roecker

The Lies That Bind (The Liar Society, #2)

Just when Kate Lowry thought she had life at elite private school Pemberly Brown figured out, she cracks open a fortune cookie to find a message from her best friend Grace--who's supposed to be dead.

Another Sister Gone

A classmate has gone missing, and Kate soon realizes that the disappearance is tied to the secret societies that rule her private school. Her best friend died for their secrets, and there's no way she'll let them get away with it twice. It's up to quirky outsider Kate to get some answers, but in a school where every answer leads to more questions and nothing's as it seems, who can she trust?

Goodreads Summary

Kate attends an elite High School, Pemberly Brown Academy.  In the past, this institution was divided into separate boys and girls schools.  After the high schools combined decades ago, two secret societies formed, the Sisterhood and the Brotherhood.  Ever since their creation, the two societies have been in a power struggle.  Last year, Kate’s best friend Grace was killed by the Brotherhood.  The culprits went unpunished because of connections to the police and school administration.
This year, Kate is trying to find “normal” with the help of her boyfriend and a few close friends.  However, life may never be normal again.  Kate is receiving notes from Grace and a member of the Sisterhood has gone missing.  The missing girl’s best friend, who is also head of the Sisterhood, wants Kate to help find her.  Kate is sure the Brotherhood is behind the disappearance, but should she help the Sisterhood find their abducted member, becoming involved with the secret societies again?
Kate is a devoted friend and a resilient fighter, but she isolates herself and has bad judgment.  As I read this book, I felt horribly alone.  Kate has a spectacular group of friends, but she does not trust in them to help her.  Kate’s recklessness frustrated me, as well.  Kate leapt into dangerous situations without thinking about the effects of her choices.  I think the trauma she survived is the reason for her self-imposed isolation and irresponsibility.
The Roecker sisters did a great job with this novel.  As a reader, I cared about Kate.  I thought of her as a younger sister and was angry when she put herself in dangerous situations.  Lisa & Laura Roecker created a separate world in their novel.  The social interactions, hierarchy, and ceremonies that occurred at Pemberly Brown Academy were incredible.  After I finished reading, I was itching to Google the names of the secret organizations and its members.  They seemed like real people.  Reading The Liar Society is like reading an exposé.
Any teenagers could enjoy this book.  The mystery and action that unfold at Pemberly Brown Academy make the book hard to put down.  Kate makes the novel one that readers will not soon forget.  The next book in the series will definitely be on my “Want to Read” list.  I give The Lies That Bind, five out of five stars.  

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

Find this book:
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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Ryan’s Crossing By: Carrie Daws

Ryan's Crossing

After ten years, Ryan's parents found his runaway sister, Amber. Now, as he drives to meet up with her and his parents before her wedding, his mind fills with the changes coming. Besides figuring out where she will fit into his life, a job change is on the horizon for him. But should he stick with small town life? Or should he move to Portland, Oregon?

Meeting the family his sister is marrying into only brings more questions. Maybe moving to nearby Portland is the better choice. But something about the town of Crossing calls to him. Is it the friendly people who openly accept him as Amber's brother or the cute brunette who happens to be sister of the groom? As Ryan weighs the pros and cons, he decides to put God to the test. Will He answer? Will He let him know which choices to make? And what if Ryan doesn t like the answer?

Goodreads Summary

Ryan’s life is in flux.  Reuniting with his sister after 10 years of separation and making a decision about his career have Ryan under a lot of pressure.  Rather than blindly making choices, Ryan turns to God for help and finds his answers with heavenly assistance.
I thoroughly enjoyed Daws’s novel.  Ryan’s Crossing began where Crossing Values ended, continuing on with the storyline already presented.  Ryan is a sympathetic character who lives a complicated life.  I liked reading about his discoveries, decisions, and romance with Brittany.  The Christian messages in the novel were uplifting and inspiring.  I am excited to read the next book in the series.  
Anyone could read this book, but the religious messages make Ryan’s Crossing ideal for a Christian audience.  From personal experience, I recommend reading this book on a dreary day.  Carrie Daws’ writing will make you happy and leave you feeling content with life.  I give Ryan’s Crossing 4.5 out of 5 stars.  

4 1/2 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Ruby By: Amanda Burke

Ruby (Ruby, #1)

During the Salem witch hunts, an evil witch named Natasha Sullivan tricks a demon into confining himself inside an enchanted music box. She casts a spell that foretells that the demon will emerge in an unknown time in future after the birth of a child known as the Lumen Child. This child’s destiny is to bring light to the planet and Natasha knows that if he is killed then darkness will prevail. Natasha’s identical twin Sarah, discovers what her sister has done. Although she cannot break the spell she casts her own prophecy. It states that three witches known as the Triple Enchantresses will be born in the same time as the Lumen Child and they will be his supernatural protectors. The girls are not sisters, yet they will share a common destiny. Ruby is the story of the first witch and how she very nearly dies before discovering her true identity. Having grown up unaware of her powers, she is rescued by her loving grandmother who is also a white witch and taken back to the family estate where she learns everything she can about what her future holds. Ruby is the first in a four book series.

Goodreads Summary

Ruby is the type of easy-to-read book that only requires a single afternoon to finish.  Plot twists and turns take a reader through Ruby’s adventures and leave the reader wondering what will happen next.  The original plot with familiar characters was fun and Amanda Burke did a good job putting her own spin on elements that are used in most young adult supernatural fiction.
The main character, Ruby, seems like an interesting girl, but the reader is not able to get to know her well.  Ruby was too short; I do not feel like I know the characters well.  Another hundred pages would be necessary for me to develop the kind of “friendship” I like to have with characters.  The briefness of the book also left me frustrated with Ruby’s romance.  She and her romantic interest take the term “insta-love” to an entirely new level.  That kind of love frustrates me and makes me want to stop reading.  How quickly the climax of the book came, startled me, as well.
Teen girls and young adult book lovers would enjoy Ruby.  The book was fun to read and I want to know what will happen next, but I give Ruby three out of five stars.  Lack of character depth and the insta-love left me feeling frustrated after I finished reading and I think Amanda Burke can do better!  Insta-love is for authors who lack skill and Burke is a good writer.  

3 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Hating Heidi Foster By: Jeffrey Bloun

Hating Heidi Foster

Mae McBride and Heidi Foster were the very best of friends. Tied at the hip from early elementary school, their relationship was the stuff of storybooks, legendary even, in the minds of their high school classmates.


That is, until Mae's father died while saving Heidi's life. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.

At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly; wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly.

Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.

What could possibly bring these two old friends back to each other? A miracle?

Hating Heidi Foster, is a young adult novel about the place of honor true friendships hold in our lives. It is about suffering and loss and the ethics of grief. It is about a deep and painful conflict, the bright light of selflessness and sacrifice and the love that rights the ship and carries us safely to port.

Goodreads Summary

If the most important person in your life died saving your best friend, how would you react?  Would you stop eating and wither away, or would you turn your anger inwards, and close yourself off?  Mae McBride’s father died in a fire saving Heidi, Mae’s best friend.  Eight years of friendship died with Mae’s dad.  Mae feels that her father chose Heidi over their family, and she hates him and Heidi for it.  The anger inside Mae is clear to everyone around her, and she slowly loses all her friends.  Heidi is coping even worse than Mae.  She is drowning in guilt.  Without Mae’s forgiveness, Heidi gives up on living and stops eating.  To save Heidi and herself, Mae must learn to forgive.
Jeffrey Blount’s plot and characters pulled at my heart.  Mae is strong and loves her family very much.  She supports her mother through all the pain and still works hard in school and in her athletics despite the trauma she experienced.  Mae’s grandparents are great through all the pain, supporting Mae and Mae’s mother and helping them move forward.  Although Mae is the main character, I think Heidi is pretty great, too.  Heidi did begin to shut down, but after surviving so much, she deserved some time to process.  Mae’s mother was the character I had trouble liking.  She began to think about dating only a few months after Mae’s father dies.  Who does that?  I actually reread the page I was so shocked.
The writing style of Jeffrey Blount seems suited for adult books.  Many of the things he had Mae say seemed odd coming from a fourteen year old.  Overall, this was only a minor point that did not disrupt my reading.  Middle school aged children and young teens seem like the perfect audience for Hating Heidi Foster.  The book could teach them about moving forward and dealing with trauma and death.  I give Hating Heidi Foster four out of five stars.    

4 Stars

*Reviewed  by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Emily’s Trial By: Natalie Wright

Emily's Trial (Akasha Chronicles, #2)

Two years ago, Emily's journey began. She learned the ancient magic of her Celtic ancestors, and became a modern Celtic Priestess. The golden torc, forged by faerie hands, is still wound around her arm, fused to her soul. She was entrusted with powerful magic - secret knowledge.

But even a Priestess can feel desire - temptation - and the quest for love. Will passion entice Emily to use her sacred magic in a forbidden way? Can new love take root in a world of nightmares? And will her friendships survive Emily's Trial?

The Journey Continues . . .

Goodreads Summary

Emily’s life is full of adventure and danger.  Now sixteen years old, Emily is still equipped with her golden torc and magic dagger.  In this novel, the reader follows Emily and her friends through a portal into a new world.  Cruelty and darkness fill the new world and a dark leader, Ciardha, feeds on his subjects’ fears.  Emily must fight the horror and survive.
Natalie Wright’s use of detail and imagery paint each scene in the mind of the reader.  The scary world Emily travels to seems so awful, but so real.  Wright did a good job developing her characters, as well.  Emily truly grows as the pages turn; she matures as she fights and works.  The other characters grow and change, too.  I am excited to see how Emily and her friends continue to develop in the next book.
Teenagers and young adults would love Emily’s Trial.  It has all the aspects of a good story and with an awesome heroine.  I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars and eagerly await the Natalie Wright’s next book!

4 1/2 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Whispers at Moonrise: A Shadow Falls Novel By: C.C. Hunter

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)

Shadow Falls Camp is back in session with the most explosive installment yet.  A shocking new threat will rock Shadow Falls—changing it forever and altering Kylie’s journey in ways she never imagined.

Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species—she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf.  With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante.  Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway.  Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late—all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever.   In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure.  Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.

The breathtaking fourth installment of the New York Times bestselling Shadow Falls series from author C. C. Hunter...Whispers at Moonrise.

Goodreads Summary

Although I did not read the first three books in the series, Whispers at Moonrise is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.  Kylie Galen is an excellent main character.  She embodies the highs and lows of being a teen.  The family problems and boy troubles she faces are like those any girl could come across, but the paranormal issues Kylie has are less typical.
Kylie has been living at a camp for supernatural teens and will soon be attending a boarding school with her peers.  Among Kylie’s friends are a witch, vampire, werewolf, fairy, and shapeshifter.  It would be expected that Kylie would belong to one of those species, however, Kylie is different.  She is a chameleon; Kylie expresses traits of all the supernatural species and must learn to control her abilities.  
Adding to the difficulties of mastering her powers is the fact that someone wants her dead and a different someone is after her best friend, Holiday.  Kylie is going to have to use every ounce of her strength and wit to overcome the obstacles she faces in Whispers at Moonrise.  
C.C. Hunter’s novel is a good read for teen girls.  It has romance, action, and mystery, a mix that is sure to attract female high school students.  Hunter’s writing style is fun and descriptive.  I appreciate that she uses teen slang and gave each character a unique personality.  Everyone in the novel is interesting and stands out.  I give this novel four out of five stars.           

4 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Touched by Corrine Jackson

Touched (Sense Thieves, #1)

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

This is Book One in the Touched trilogy.

Goodreads Summary

The cycle of abuse can be impossible to break, Remy O’Malley knows this all too well.  Her mother refuses to leave her boyfriend, a scary man who regularly beats Remy and her mother black and blue.  No one realizes how bad it is, however, because Remy is able to heal wounds.  Healing the wounds is not easy; Remy must take them on herself before she can repair the injury.
After one particularly bad attack, Remy is in the hospital.  Finally, her father, who she has not seen in years, insists that Remy comes and lives with him. Remy faces a new set of challenges, made interesting by a boy with secrets of his own, Asher.
Older teens and young adults seem like a good audience for this novel because of the violence Remy experiences.  Younger readers may be disturbed by the attacks from Remy’s mother’s boyfriend.  Jackson’s use of detail and description are impressive.  She paints a picture in the mind of the reader.  The plot of Touched was predictable, however.  I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.    

3 1/2 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Guest Post and Book Feature: Suzanne de Montigny

Friday, December 28, 2012

A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.

Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating – G

Connect with Suzanne De Montigny on Facebook & Twitter


Guest Post:

A World Without Books

by Suzanne de Montigny

A world without books is really scary. I look at my own two boys and how much time they spend playing computer games if I let them. I’ve explained to them that those games are an addiction and are preventing them from developing their talents. While they vegetate in front of the computer screen, someone else is getting rich. It reminds me of the old opium dens that ruined families. The opium lords became very wealthy while patrons sat around in a stupor, throwing their families into a state of poverty.

My younger son used to be an avid reader. Now he can’t even finish a book because it doesn’t move as fast as his games. Even watching tv is too slow for my boys. They oftentimes try to game while watching a movie until I catch them. I can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve locked iPads, iPods, and MacBooks in our safe.

Peach Suite: Hotel Supplies and Equippment

Thursday, December 27, 2012
I'm attending TLA and possibly BEA this year and need to find a good hotel, but do you ever think about what is necessary for a good hotel?  Peach Suite offers many various hotel supplies to maximize a vacationer's experience.  From appliances to linens to housekeeping supplies, Peach Suite has much to offer.   For example, if one needs clocks/radios, one has twenty-two different options to choose from.  Hotel supplies online  can be fun to look through and cost-effective.  Peach Suite gives buyers who spend more than $500 free shipping on their orders.

This hotel amenities supplier lists names of brands they work with such as Swiffer and Chicago Cutlery.  Potential buyers can look for top-of-the-line options when buying for their hotels. The Peach Suite site is easily navigable with little fuss.  Options are listed on the left side of the site and buyers may search for individual items with the search bar located in the center of the page.  Looking for products on sale?  Peach Suite offers an individual tab buyers may search through.  All in all, hotel furnishings, amenities, and housekeeping can  be the deciding factor in a vacationer's/businessman's/etc... decision to stay at a hotel again.  Look to Peach Suite for products for your hotel(s).

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Faith: Book Blast and Giveaway!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Faith - 4 Week Mini Bible Study

In this four week mini Bible Study you will examine your faith and what it means to have faith in God. He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross. When we believe in God we then learn to walk in faith and trust God. But first we must believe, and it's up to us, we can either choose to believe in Him or not. But faith will mean nothing until we believe with all our heart that God is who He says He is.

Praise for Faith
Don't have time to read a long book on faith? This study will give you simple tools to understand faith and help you to develop a closer relationship with God. ~Lorilyn Roberts

This is a great book that allows you to start looking deeper into faith. I love the fact that there is a lot of scripture reference so one can look into the Bible and further study the word. ~Shraon

This study was a wonderful lift to my faith. I encourage others to take this short journey to an increased faith. ~Shirley Strait


Author Heather Bixler

Heather is a Christian Stay at home homeschooling mom of three, married to a firefighter, and a writer. She is founder of among other websites for Christian mothers, and women. Heather is passionate about sharing God's word in a practical and loving way.

Blog * Twitter *  Facebook

BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/3/13

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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Book Feature and Guest Post by Olivia Hardin

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Devan Stowe has only one thing on her mind when she teams up with Kent Crosby and his associates—putting an end to her father’s child trafficking business. Her determination takes her on a journey to discover her true strength and the… one man she was destined to love. In his arms, she’ll learn the meaning of trust, honor, and courage. Devan will unlock an amazing gift that will free her from her past and open up a future full of magic, faeries and more things than she ever imagined possible.

Be sure to check out Bitten Shame (Book 2 in the Bend -Bite-Shift Trilogy) and also Langton’s short story “Tell A Soul” In the Cupid Painted Blind Anthology both also available on Amazon!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG

Connect with Olivia Hardin on Facebook & Twitter


If I could jump into a book…

by Olivia Hardin

If I could jump into a book, I’d live in a world of twenty known universes.   A world where a bit of magic… er complex mathematics, can open doorways between the planets and the galaxies.  A world where lesser villains may be forced to eat themselves while the “eater of souls” duels in riposte.

If I could jump into a book, I’d have journeys of adventure on a road less travelled.  I’d battle blood kites and horned ghosts and dragons, all with a tough gnome-like side-kick.  I’d have a little black box that could hold an almost infinite amount of provisions and I’d remind my fellow cohorts to be careful lest it get lost in the swamp.  I’d have a champion to lead the way with his “bump” of direction never failing.

If I could jump into a book I’d be a Princess with a strong and brave Hero at my side.  We’d jump a sword to seal a vow even as we search for a lost egg.  My Hero would fight for his Princess to the death if necessary and after all that, forgive her almost anything, even when she forces him to take her over his knee.  I’d have at my disposal an arsenal of wisdom to resolve any problem.  I’d be strong enough to use that wisdom even when my heart says no.

If I could jump into a book, I’d live in the world of Robert Heinlein’s creation.  I’d travel the Glory Road again and again, living the adventure, falling in love and roaming the twenty known universes.  And the best thing about living in that world, would be that I could “retell” the ending so that the glorious quest could continue with ever-changing, new roads to be traveled…

Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You can win a book of your choice from this blog :) Happy Holidays everyone!

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HarperCollins Ebook Deals!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Who doesn't want more ebooks for Christmas?  HarperCollins has a lot to offer this year and, through January 7th, readers can choose from a multitude of books including Delirium, Angelfire, Beastly, Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off, and more!  Check out this page to see the other books as well.  These ebooks are as much as 75% off!  What are you waiting for?  Check this out!

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The Stone Guardian Book Blast and Giveaway!


The Stone Guardian

Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…


Author Bio:

A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa started her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.
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Guest Post by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Lies That Bind (The Liar Society, #2)

The Only Way to Keep a Secret is by Using a Dead Language – Lisa & Laura discuss why they used secret societies to drive the mystery in The Liar Society Society series. Plus, learn their opinions (we know Kate’s!) about secret societies. You’ll find out if they believe secret societies improve campus life, history, involvement—Or, if they encourage exclusion and dangerous happenings.

There are three girls in the Roecker family and when each of us turned thirteen, we were sent to board at an all-girls’ school in upstate New York. It was within these prep school’s walls where we first fell into secret-society-like all-girls’ clubs. This experience is no doubt the inspiration behind not only Pemberly Brown, but the secret societies as well.
Just kidding.
All of us graduated from Solon High School. Picture scuffed tile floors, institutional grey walls and those uncomfortable chair/desk units that make your butt fall asleep. Solon was a fabulous school system and we were more than prepared for college, but we wore regular clothes, hung out with regular people and learned regular things (Latin? Um…no). We weren’t exactly infiltrating secret societies in order to solve the mystery of our best friend’s death. More like applying concealer to the gigantic pimple on the tip of our nose.
But that’s the whole point. Pemberly Brown is for all the girls (and boys!) out there who go to those boring high schools. Anything can happen at PB and every time we write a new story, the school grows larger and a bit more magical. Kate stumbles upon the Sisterhood and Brotherhood in THE LIAR SOCIETY because we wanted to play around with sororities and fraternities at the high school level as well as hazing and competitiveness.  The societies stand for everything Kate wants to destroy because they inadvertently killed her best friend, but you’ll see in THE LIES THAT BIND, the struggle she faces when she’s not sure who to trust. She gets it wrong. She’s not perfect. And even though she’s fighting much greater problems than we faced in high school, she’s relatable and fun. Plus, she makes us thank our lucky stars we weren’t sent away to that boarding school in upstate New York.

End of the World Giveaway Hop!

I love so many books, but if I had to choose I would save these books:

The Innocents (The Innocents, #1)
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

OR you can choose your own book you'd save :)

Thank you for stopping by!

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Warner Bros Holiday Movies Giveaway! (ends 12/20!)

Love Warner Bros movies?  One lucky winner will win either a Blu-ray Combo Pack of Magic Mike Or The Dark Knight Rises! Enter below for a chance to win this for a terrific Christmas!
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At Every Turn By: Anne Mateer

At Every Turn

She's off to the races!

Caught up in a whirlwind of religious enthusiasm, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. Now she just has to find a way to get the money.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles, and she's spent many an afternoon driving around the rustic track in the field behind her home. When she discovers that her father's company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events--races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money--she conspires with her father's mechanic, Webster, to train and compete.

But when her friends cast aspersions on Webster's past, she realizes she may have trusted the wrong person with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her hasty promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

Goodreads Summary

We’ve all felt that thrill of wanting to help some amazing mission in some
important way.  Still, I just cringed when Alyce popped up and made a huge
pledge of help.  You just know that she is going to have all kinds of
trouble raising that money.  Maybe I’m too old now to understand, but her
zeal and recklessness as she goes about raising money, donating it, and
losing it seemed frustrating.  Some of the societal situations could have
included more humor; I expected it, but didn’t find it there.  I loved her
relationship with her grandmother.  Grandmother’s faith contrasts with
Alyce’s – one is so steady and calming, and the other is so flighty and
I think most readers will feel the sinister undercurrent of one of
Alyces’s suitors.  Yet, Mateer still managed to make me doubt the
sincerity of the other man who Alyce daydreams about.  It’s great that
Webster is so talented in the early years of car construction and racing.
His support and pride in her driving accomplishments really shine through.
 As the author slowly introduces all the terrific qualities about Webster,
it just makes you like him better and better as the story goes on.  When
Alyce learns to accept disappointment with humility, when she loves even
when she’s unsure that it is returned, she grows into a much more likable,
engaging character.
It’s wonderful to read and imagine what the jouncing and dirt felt like
for a young woman racer driving laps around a board track at 89 miles per
hour.  I hadn’t realized that the cars reached such speeds in 1916.  This
historical Christian fiction delivers delightful reading in all three of
those categories.

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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The Big Field: A Child’s Year under the Southern Cross By: Anne Morddel

Monday, December 17, 2012
The Big Field: A Child's Year Under the Southern Cross

Beautifully illustrated, this is the charming story of a girl who spends a year with her grandmother on a farm at the edge of the South American Atlantic Rainforest. The child is from the city, but the time she spends with her grandmother teaches her about the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere and the beauty and transience of the rainforest—from the plant, animal, and insect life to the cycles of nature. Following them as they spend their days walking through the forest, lying on their backs under the trees, eating dinner outside, collecting seeds, and learning about the wildlife, this entertaining narrative is also environmentally sensitive in its approach. An illustrated, child-friendly glossary with sections dedicated to butterflies and moths, birds, bugs, and trees and plants concludes the book.

Goodreads Summary

Fun!  For kids old enough to realize that January means winter here and
summer there – they will marvel at how hot grandma says it is in January.
Grandma’s seed collecting and spreading in the field that she “always
forgets to plow” gives the story and the year a pleasant rhythm.  A mobile
of white tassel flowers, called ballerinas, to entertain Baby is so
charming.  The foreign tropical sound of butterflies that are bluer than
the sky and the Southern Cross in the sky help kids to appreciate this
distant country.
I really appreciated the colorful illustrated index of bugs, butterflies,
birds, trees, and plants.

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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There were Dinosaurs Everywhere! By: Howard Temperley

There Were Dinosaurs Everywhere!: A Rhyming Romp Through Dinosaur History

The phenomenon of the dinosaur is one that continues to fascinate people of all ages. A fun-filled history of the many species of dinosaurs, their eras, and interesting facts about them, this book is not only informative, but funny and captivating as well. Featuring amusing and attractive illustrations, this unique edition discusses a variety of topics, from the Velociraptor and Pterodactylus to the Jurassic Era and dinosaur extinction.

Goodreads Summary

Kids love least mine did!  The illustrations are terrific –
colorful and cartoonish.  I know that mine would have asked to see more
accurate, “lifelike” pictures of the dinosaurs in this book.  Author
Temperley takes care of that curiosity too; he tells us that no one really
knows what the dinosaurs looked like.  How much did Brachiosaurs eat and
how small were their brains?  How did dinosaurs learn to fly?  Why did
they disappear?  This book had me “googling” “Incisivosaurus” – never
heard of that one.
My children usually liked rhymed stories.  I think I enjoyed reading them
the flow of the rhymes phrases more than they enjoyed listening.
Temperley and illustrator Kline turn middle school level concepts into
understandable information for younger children.  Read this fun book to
your children.  If my kids were still little, I would have asked them to
draw the animals and act out the stories on the pages.  There is so much
information here...and so much creative play that the book can inspire.

Five Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell By Tanya Lee Stone

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly no women were doctors.

But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren’t smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak for such hard work. And she would not take no for an answer. Although she faced much opposition, she worked hard and finally—when she graduated from medical school and went on to have a brilliant career—proved her detractors wrong. This inspiring story of the first female doctor shows how one strong-willed woman opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.

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Do you know some little girls who are fascinated by anatomy and like to
bandage you up?  This colorfully illustrated book will inspire them.  I
had never heard of Elizabeth Blackwell, but I’m so glad that I have now.
Young Elizabeth seems indomitable and curious.  Adult Elizabeth has to
consider her choice carefully; the disdain and horror at her attempts to
go through medical school are obvious in the sketched faces of everyone
around her.  How horrible to hear the real reason that Geneva Medical
School accepted her as a student!  What a triumph that Elizabeth worked so
hard to succeed.
Girls today may be shocked at Elizabeth’s struggles to go to medical
school and to start a practice.  All little girls today have seen women
doctors....thanks to people like Elizabeth Blackwell, a person they should
read about.

Five Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

The Art of Wishing

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

Goodreads Summary

Margo is a typical high school student.  She loves to sing, struggles in calculus, and tries out for the school musical.  Genies do not exist in Margo’s world, neither does magic.  When Margo picks up a ring in the girls’ bathroom and a boy appears, she is shocked and amazed.  Oliver is a genie who is ready to grant Margo three wishes.
As Margo worries over her wishes, Oliver worries for another reason.  He is being hunted by another genie who believes that by killing genies, he is freeing them.  The sooner Margo makes her wishes, the sooner Oliver can leave.  But the more time they spend together, the less Oliver wants to leave!  The two are compatible in almost every way.  Love never can be easy!
This book would be adored by high school girls looking for a fun and interesting read.  Ribar created characters that draw the reader into the story.  I was hooked by Margo on the first page.  Oliver was fun, too.  He clearly cares deeply about Margo and wants to protect her, but does not know if he could ever come back if he leaves.

4 1/2 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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The Dead By Charlie Higson

The Dead (The Enemy #2)

A terrible disease is striking everyone over the age of fourteen. Death walks the streets.Nowhere is safe. Maxie, Blue and the rest of the Holloway crew aren't the only kids trying to escape the ferocious adults who prey on them.Jack and Ed are best friends, but their battle to stay alive tests their friendship to the limit as they go on the run with a mismatched group of other kids, nerds, fighters, misfits. And one adult. Greg, a butcher, who claims he's immune to the disease. They must work together if they want to make it in this terrifying new world. But as a fresh disaster threatens to overwhelm London, they realize they won?t all survive.

Goodreads Summary

This book did not release me from its clutches until three in the morning.  I was so afraid that I slept with the lights on.  Charlie Higson created a terrifying world in his novel, The Dead.  A group of boys are trapped in a boarding school in the English countryside when a strange virus becomes an epidemic.  Anyone over a certain age quickly becomes afflicted and succumbs to the disease.  However, unlike any other deadly sickness, victims of the illness do not immediately die; the adults and teens become zombie-like creatures who crave the flesh of children.  The boys must survive an attack by people they trust, they have to fight for their survival.
The Dead is not a book for children; I would not give this novel to any child under the age of thirteen.  Gruesome scenes are described and at least twenty people died within the first few chapters.  Most children could not handle the attacks and violence written by Charlie Higson.
I give Higson’s work four out of five stars.  Blood, gore, and insanity are often brought together, but not like this.  Charlie Higson created a world that will exist in the minds of all his readers, a world that they will not soon forget.    

4 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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