Monday, July 28, 2014

GUEST POST: Eucatastrophe by Kerry Nietz the author of Amish Vampires in Space

~ About the Book ~

Title: Amish Vampires in Space
Author: Kerry Nietz
Published: January 14th, 2014
Word Count: 137,000
Genre: Science Fiction
Content Warning: Minor Violence/Gore
Recommended Age: 13+

~ Synopsis ~

Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space.The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. Then end up on a cargo ship bound for the stars.But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive...or used to be.Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older.

~ About the Author ~

Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates’s minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. He has one non-fiction book, a memoir entitled FoxTales: Behind the Scenes at Fox Software. Amish Vampires in Space is his fifth novel.

~Guest Post~
“Eucatastrophe” is a term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien to mean “a dramatic event that results in the protagonist’s well-being.” Now, I don’t know if I can claim that anything that has happened regarding Amish Vampires in Space rises to the level of Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan charging in to rescue Helm’s Deep, but there have certainly been moments that have seemed eucatastrophic in nature.
Amish Vampires in Space (AViS) originally released in October of 2013 from Marcher Lord Press. However, in December of 2013 I got word that the owner of Marcher Lord was selling the company. The catch there for me was that while the new owner wanted to retain the rights to my other four novels, he didn’t want to keep the rights to AViS. 
Why, you ask? Well, the reasons are mostly his own. I can say that it wasn’t because he thought the book was poorly written. He hadn’t read it! The only reason I got was: “To actually incarnate a punchline isn’t something I would’ve done.”
The move came as a shock to me, of course, because sales were good, the early reviews were great, and the buzz for my genre mashup was outstanding. It had been mentioned twice in Publishers Weekly, twice by Library Journal, given a nod on Dave Barry’s blog, and was the subject of an article in the Washington Post. 
So at Christmastime, I was left with this dilemma: I had a book that I’d spent most of a year writing and promoting. The talk and sales were still good, but it was soon to be without a publisher. The end result? The previous owner and I scrambled through the holidays to get AViS to the point where I could sell it 
independently. Thankfully, I already had accounts with all the major eBook providers and CreateSpace, so the process took less than a month. And the book remained available the entire time.
Skip ahead a couple months to March of 2014. By then the buzz and sales had leveled off, and I was beginning to think the ride was over. A friend of mine, Dawn Shelton (who is an excellent proofer) had read the book and found a handful of typos. Since sales were now a trickle, it seemed the perfect time to incorporate her changes. With the eBooks, that process was almost instantaneous. I fixed the files and uploaded them and they went live as soon as they were approved. The book was always available. 
Such was not the case with the print book. As is CreateSpace’s procedure, the moment I uploaded a new interior file, the book went out-of-print on Amazon pending approval of the new version. And while the changes to AViS were trivial, there are some graphic elements in the book that always send up red flags for their reviewers. Also, the approval process only happened in the middle of the night. So every time they flagged a problem, I’d have to call support, who would attach a note, and then I’d have to wait until the next morning to see if it finally was approved. It took most of a week to get the interior finally approved. On Tuesday, March 11th. That very night Amish Vampires in Space was mentioned by Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show. The buzz, and consequently, sales, exploded all over again. 
A eucatastrophe? I think even Tolkien would think so. 

, AViS was available for sale again.

~ Excerpt ~

Jebediah had a secret.
It was a weight, really. Something the songs of church service couldn’t lighten. Even daily prayers and scripture reading were no help. It was always present. Always hidden.
“It is Gelassenheit,” his father had said. “Surrendering yourself for others.”
So Jeb bore the weight. It was God’s will. Like Abraham tying Isaac to the altar. We hold the knife with the faith that God will stop us from using it.
With a groan, Jebediah pushed his way out of bed. Beside him, Sarah sighed and rolled his direction. Even with the passage of decades, she still appeared as beautiful to him as when they married. A day twenty years ago now. Her in a simple white dress and kapp. He in his best black suit. Family and friends, similarly attired. A simpler time. A happier time. An early spring.
Before the secret had passed to him.
“Is it morning so soon?” she whispered.
Jeb smiled. “Ya, it is.”
She made to get out of bed, but Jeb frowned and held out a hand. “Stay in,” he said. “At forty, you’ve earned a few more minutes.”
She put the back of her hand over her mouth and yawned. “So much to do today. The Troyers need breakfast. And Eli will need help with that baby. And the garden.”
Jeb glanced out the bedroom window. The sun had not yet begun to rise. And neither moon. Only a few distant stars and the mass of what was commonly called the Morning Nebbit.
Still very dark. That was a comfort, at least.

~ SALE ~

~ Giveaway ~

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RELEASE DAY SALE: A Dangerous Season by Olivia Hardin


A Dangerous Season- Olivia

The characters of Bend-Bite-Shift and For Love of Fae all converge in A Dangerous Season (For Love of Fae Trilogy Book Three). JUST 99CENTS RELEASE DAY SPECIAL - ONLY GUARANTEED TODAY!!!

* iTunes * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Pain, joy, death, life, magic: All of it fits. Or does it…
The faery realm is in a frenzy now that the Women on the Hill are no longer united in power. The fabric of life as the fae know it is changing, and with it the dynamics of friends, lovers and neighbors.
Devan will risk both her life and Kent’s love to locate her missing father. Nicky must follow Gerry headfirst into danger as she runs from the new demons within herself. Doc and Jill choose an ally in the cold war between faery factions as Robin struggles to help McKenna recover from a loss that could cripple her forever. Kristana and Langston seek answers and follow a ghost into enemy territory, while Rooney confronts the challenges of Belle’s growing powers and the path revealed for their lives.
A collision of forces could create a new order between the faery and human realms, but will everyone survive the fallout of the cataclysm?

Friday, July 25, 2014

REVIEW: Wicked Waves by Sharon Kay

Title: Wicked Waves
Series: Solsti Prophecy #2
Author:  Sharon Kay
Published Date: Jan 17, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Format: e-book
Pages: 357
ISBN: 9781494292270
Genre: paranormal romance
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Synopsis: Making daggers out of raindrops is only the tip of the iceberg for Brooke Bonham. As one of four women who can control the elements, her ability to manipulate water packs a deluge of potential. Eager to learn more, she’s frustrated at the precautions she must take to avoid the wrong kind of attention on Earth.
Kai's duties as a Lash demon have kept him busy on Earth for nearly two hundred years. Fighting? He was born to do it.
Females? They're drawn to him. And Earth? The perfect place for him to avoid supernatural bounty hunters.
Though the two of them mix like oil and water, Kai senses that beneath Brooke’s frosty exterior hides a vortex of simmering passion. He’s determined to thaw his ice princess.
Forced to work together in the immortal realm, they track a rogue Lash demon at the helm of a widespread kidnapping operation. All too soon, Kai’s dark past catches up to them. Time runs out as a second enemy, bent on revenge, vows to stop at nothing short of Brooke’s enslavement and Kai’s death. As they and their foes stalk each other in a demonic game of cat-and-mouse, will her evolving skills and their fledgling bond be enough to save them?

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second book in a new paranormal romance series, and it is just as amazing as the first. I was first introduced to Brooke and Kai in book one when it was obvious something was up with them.
Enter: book two and they just can't be in the same room with each other. Brooke hates Kai's presence and thinks he's a conceited, pompous jerk....well, with the first words out of his mouth, I wouldn't blame her! Kai's confused by his attraction to her, and does some knee-jerk reactions that include some open-mouth-insert-foot scenarios (including the above-mentioned). However, the attraction between them is irresistible and when they are forced into a partnership going to Torth, the sparks end up flying.
I love how Brooke is so eager to learn about her powers, to extend them and control them as much as possible, willing to learn and take chances. Kai is a major Alpha male, with a very painful slave past to deal with. He's very much a Spartacus-like figure, escaping from the Gladiator-like prison and becoming a hero-like figure to the general populace of Torth. When they finally come to accept their attraction to one another, its nothing short of phenomenal.
In this book, we see another part of Torth, which is fast becoming one of my favorite worlds with the vastly different environments and species.
If you love paranormal romance series, this will definitely not disappoint you!

REVIEW: Thrive Student Edition by Mark Hall

Title: Thrive: Digging Deep, Reaching Out Student Edition
Author: Mark Hall
Series: none
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: August 5, 2014Genre: Christian
Buy It LinkAmazon | CBD | Zondervan

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Synopsis: Taking the Next Step in Your Faith Life to
The only way to be the hands and feet of Jesus is to love him and serve others out of our love for him. But to do that we must first be deeply rooted in our life with God. In Thrive, Mark Hall, lead singer for the popular band Casting Crowns, shows us what it really looks like to walk with Jesus.
In part 1, Digging Deep, Hall demonstrates how to truly engage with the Word and a community of faith, worshiping and pursuing God wholeheartedly as our hearts and minds are transformed. In part 2, Reaching Out, we see the fruits of our engagement with the Word and the community, the grateful giving back of service and love.
Using relatable stories, grounded teaching, and great application, Hall helps everyone who wants to take the next step of faith and see their life grow deep and strong.

In this student edition of Thrive, Mark Hall explores the two sides of our faith life---the roots that help us grow deep and the trunk and branches that are the evidence of what God does inside. With insight and humor, Mark gives teens steps and inspiration for growth in every area.

Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from BookLook Bloggers review program.As I read the non-student edition a few months previous, this review is almost exactly like the other with a few changes.
I have to say I love this book. I knew from the very first chapter, it was going to be one of those books that was going to be 5 stars for me. Immediately, I started telling people about this book.
Mark Hall is such a relatable person, and a great writer. The stories that he tells make you see that even as a pastor and the lead singer of a successful Christian rock group, he is still very human like his readers. He struggles just as much as we do.
There were only two things I did not like. The first was towards the end of the book with the proselytizing. I don't agree with it. I've hated when people have done it to me, and I would hate to make other people feel uncomfortable as some once did to me. I have never agreed with it, and I can't see me doing it to someone. I understand why the author feel that proselytizing is necessary, but its not for me. On the other hand, there are those who are very comfortable with it. If it's your thing, go for it.
The second thing I did not like was more about where I am in my faith journey in relation to the book. The book itself assumes that you're somewhat further on your journey than I am. I am a very new returner to my faith, so I really need more digging deep time before I could even think that I am near to where the author assumes I am in my journey.
Overall, it was an incredible book that I am keeping on my bookshelf for a very long time.

REVIEW: A Beautiful Defeat by Kevin Malarkey

Title: A Beautiful Defeat: Find True Freedom and Purpose in Total Surrender to God
Series: none
Author:  Kevin Malarkey
Published Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: hardcover
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781400206391
Genre: nonfiction, Christian self-help
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Synopsis: "Total surrender to God: the surprising key to experiencing the sense of peace and purpose you crave.
There is a gnawing feeling inside all of us that says we could be better. If we would just be more organized or work a little harder, we'd finally have the rich and fulfilling life we want.
But the message of the cross is different.
The message is not one of God saying, "I died for your sins to work as a consultant to help you achieve the life you're determined to have." Jesus died to reconcile us to God so that we can die and give our lives to him and to others--a total surrender that is truly "a beautiful defeat"!
Perspective and peace in the midst of the stormy chaos of life are always available to the person who lives a surrendered life. The result is a rich existence basking in the pleasure and approval of God.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not too impressed by this book. The author had some points that he made, but I don't see much of a difference between his points and the points that every other "Give your life to God completely" book out there makes. It was good to read that the author had his own struggles to deal with, so that he didn't sound like a preachy, holier-than-thou author. It brought a level of realism to the situations that he wrote about.
However, the biggest issue I had was the step about dying, especially the action step of writing your own death certificate. Morbid? Yes! If you have ever been the one to sit at the table to give the details of your departed loved one's life, to be the one to fill in the blanks on that death certificate, you will realize how morbid this step really is, and how emotionally troubling it would be to fill out your own death certificate. Can anyone imagine how disturbing that would be if a spouse or child came across that?
A suggestion here I would make would be to make a death certificate not for yourself, but for your struggles. You struggle with anger? Take his action step and make a death certificate for your anger. Let it die, let God take over.

BOOK TOUR and GIVEAWAY: Just Desserts by Tawdra Kandle


JustDessertsSWCover   When her friend Julia needed help forming a revenge plan against her ex-boyfriend, Ava was happy to lend a hand. She never expected that in the course of making Liam pay, she'd be the one to fall hard. . .for the one person who was absolutely off-limits. Crushing on the guy who humiliated her best friend is definitely against the girl code. Besides, Ava has goals. Her life is all about graduating with honors and landing the perfect job. And Liam Bailey—sweet-talking, complicated son of a well-known local politician—isn't part of those plans. But Liam doesn't give up easily. And he doesn't intend to let their friends' opinions, his parents' disapproval or Ava's past get in the way of what he wants--Ava's heart.

Buy the book:

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/iBooks


About the Author

Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child's Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she's released contemporary and paranormal romances in both the adult and New Adult genres. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: Second Chance Bride by Sandra Edwards


Second-Chance-Bride resizedAfter being jilted, practically at the altar, Genie Wainwright heads to Hawaii to escape the well-meant pity party her friends and family are bound to throw on her behalf. What she never expects is to find someone to help her mend her broken heart. Donnie Taylor, owner of the posh Sapphire Bay Resort, has no interest in marriage—until he meets an unforgettable guest at the hotel. What starts out as a kindhearted gesture brings Donnie something he never expects—love!
Buy on:
Amazon | B&N | iTunes (Preorder on Aug 15th)

About the author:

Author Sandra EdwardsNEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sandra Edwards writes award-winning romance in a variety of subgenres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline. Sandra's books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. For more info on Sandra's books, visit her website at www.sandrawrites.com.
Sign up for Sandra's NEW RELEASE ALERT at http://bit.ly/1k31XDr.

Follow Sandra:

Facebook | Twitter

Read the Reviews Mama's Got Flair
  My Mismatched World
  For Him and My Family
The Mama Chronicles
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Enter to win a $25 Amazon GC from the Author. Open INT 18+, fill out the form to enter. Ends 8/10/14 @ 11:59 PM EST a Rafflecopter giveaway
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