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Saturday, May 30, 2015

#REVIEW: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker


Title: The Choosing
Series: A Seer Novel
Author:  Rachelle Dekker
Published Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Format: paperback
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-1496402240
Genre: dystopian
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Synopsis: “Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority. 
But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within. 
Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I truly thought this book would drag, I mean come on, it is 450ish pages long. I was surprised when I started it one day and finished it the next. Carrington’s story pulled me in to the point where I needed to know what would happen next.
The society created by the author is painful at times to read, how much women’s rights have fallen since now, but it set up an amazing tension between what Carrington was raised to believe, and finding her own self-worth. Had she actually been Chosen, she never would have searched her own self-worth. She was just as happy in the society as everyone else, never questioning, as long as things went as expected. Even when they didn’t, she never showed any hint of rebellion.
This book isn’t like other dystopian books, where the heroine is an obvious choice, already standing out from society with her rebellious deeds or ideas, always questioning society as it is. Carrington is just as well-trained as every other mindless sheep in that society.
Over all, this book is an interesting read. Does the end set up for a good enough cliff-hanger for me to crave the next in the series? Not so much, and that disappoints me.

About the Author:

The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair. Visit her online at rachelledekker.com. 

1. How did you come up with the story for The Choosing?

This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a character, good or bad, and create the story from there.

2. You based your main character, Carrington, off of your younger sister. In what ways is Carrington like her?

It’s more the beliefs that Carrington struggles with that remind me of my sister. The idea of worth, of not feeling like you’re enough, or questioning whether anyone would choose you. Carrington came about as I spent time with my sister and her college-age friends and saw that a large majority of them were searching for significance, searching for worth—none more than my sister at the time.

3. Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity?

Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough; am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them through this story.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

#TOUR AND #GIVEAWAY: Holy And The Fallen by Amanda Strong

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Title:  Holy and the Fallen
Series:  The Watchers of Men Series #2
Author:  Amanda Strong
Published:  May 12th, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Minor violence, language, and clean romance
Synopsis: With the Northern City under construction, Micah and Eden’s lives are about to change again, when Micah is given new directions. It’s time for the Watchers, the fallen angels buried in the earth, to make their final choice—serve the captain or choose to remain loyal to Semjaza, the dark leader who led them to their downfall. Micah soon learns, however, that Eden is the one thing Semjaza wants more than anything, and he will go to great lengths to obtain her.
Torn between fulfilling his mission and not wanting to leave the ones he cares about, Micah must learn what it truly means to be the captain’s seer. Eden’s friends will be tested as they try to protect her, while each one of them discover there may be more to their gifts than they’d thought. In the war between angels and demons, gifts will be discovered and truths uncovered. All the while, one moment of weakness can prove to be the undoing of them all.
Holy and the Fallen is the exciting squeal to The Awakener by Amanda Strong.
Amazon | GoodReads

Excerpt from Holy and the Fallen by Amanda Strong:
“Gabriel?” Eden called softly. It was late, she knew she should be sleeping, but talking about him today with her parents had left a void in her heart. Her once again, one-sided conversations were not as comforting as they used to be.
“I guess I got a bit spoiled seeing you so much,” she admitted, staring off into the distance. “You probably ran straight to the angel council and told them to fix it so I couldn’t. Was it that bad? Me seeing you?”
She felt nothing and sighed. “I know you said it made things complicated.”  Again nothing.
“Gabriel? Hey, are you there still?” She tried to push the panic down and gripped her blankets tighter.  Nothing.
Now her eyes roamed her room, darting to her floor just to make sure there were no claws coming out from under her bed. She knew she was being ridiculous. He was always there. Maybe she wasn’t focusing on the good feeling. Maybe if she just held still and stopped freaking out, she’d feel the calmness and know he was there.   Maybe…
She felt something else. A cold, draining sensation in her back. It spread down her limbs, leaving her wrist searing in pain. Eden doubled over, gripping her arm to her chest.
“Gabriel!” she gasped. She peeked down just to make sure no blood oozed out. Her flesh remained intact, pink and healthy, but her insides screamed, like her bones were being snapped in two. Pain rocketed her whole frame, shooting from two points of origin—where the demon had nearly bitten her hand off and where Oeillet’s staff had punctured her back.
She curled into a fetal position, hugging her knees, pinching her eyes shut, trying to manage the agony. When her lungs refused to fill with air, she panicked. Oh my gosh! I’m suffocating! She tried to scream for help, but nothing came out but mangled sounds. Hot pain coursed through her chest, wrapping around her heart like fingers made of fire. What’s happening! She saw no demon, no staff protruding from her heart, but it felt like one was there.
Gabriel, where are you?
“Eden!” a voice bellowed at the same time white light shot through her room. Arms wrapped around her and pulled her from her bed. A hand brushed hair from her face, clearing her vision. Bright blue eyes gazed back at her, practically buried under the furrowed brow line.
“Gabriel,” she gasped through gritted teeth.
“Eden, what’s wrong?” While holding her, his eyes scanned her body. “What’s happened to you? Where are you hurt?”
She clutched at her chest and tried to speak, but nothing came out. His eyes widened. With one swift motion, he laid her down and placed both hands on her head. Shutting his eyes, he moved his hands down her frame, lightly touching her shoulders, arms, wrist, back, and torso. He stopped where the staff had punctured her months ago. A stream of fluid words came from his mouth, none of which she understood.
“Curses,” he muttered in English. “I should’ve known.”


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About the Author:
Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed.
Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us.
The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016.
Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us.
When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, May 25, 2015

#REVIEW: Siren's Fury by Mary Weber

Title: Siren’s Fury
Series: Storm Siren Trilogy #2
Author:  Mary Weber
Published Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: hardback
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781401690373
Genre: fantasy
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: "I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."
Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.
When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.
They may require who she is.
Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.
Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was very disappointed in this book. The previous book was incredible but this book was slow to get to the action. I found Nymia this time around to be angry, desperate, weak-willed, and rather pathetic. Once her Elemental powers were taken away from her, she became a sniveling, desperate, power-hungry woman who lashed out at everyone she encountered.
For half of the book, the action paced a snail… in molasses…. in February. Once the first half was done, the action picked up considerably, and I was actually happy to read the book. Still not happy with Nymia’s attitude…no seriously, she needed an attitude adjustment.

It wasn’t until the last 5 pages that Nymia finally learns her lesson: “I let out a dry chuckle—because isn’t that the truth of it all right there. That who we are is not our abilities. Not really. It’s more who we are in spite of them.” But it’s a very painful, slow lesson for the reader to have to go through, to watch Nymia be so pathetic because she lost her Elemental powers, she’s not resilient enough to find her own inner strength. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

#TOUR: My Soul to Wake by Tara Oakes


MY SOUL TO WAKE IS NOW LIVE!
SYNOPSIS
Witchcraft. Reincarnation. True love. These are the things of legend. Unexplained, some even say impossible, but nonetheless prevalent in stories and tales from all cultures and in every land from the beginning of time. What if there is something to it? What if there is an explanation behind the mysteries and bedtime stories? Something beyond words? SALEM, MASSACHUSETTES 1692 She was taken from him in the cruelest way... condemned, sentenced and punished out of fear of the unknown. How is he supposed to live without her? How can he go on knowing that in this life, by the natural order of things, they will never be together? There's only one thing to do... only one option that will bring them together again. SALEM , MASSACHUSETTES TODAY Amelia is taken on a weekend excursion with her best girlfriends to let loose, relax and have a little fun. What harm is there in a little vacation? It's not like the legends, the haunted history of the place can scare them away. It's all harmless fun. Or so she thought. Something seems familiar about the town. The trees, the winds, the feel of everything. Her ever present nightmares have become more intense within the limits of the old historical setting. She's prepared to write off the whole trip as nothing more than a case of her mind running away with the sensationalized magic here. When she meets a handsome stranger who's eager to know her in a way no one else can, she begins to think there may be something more to this place, something more to him. Will has been waiting, biding his time, and praying that she'll come back. He's broken the natural order of things to possibly find her again, weaving their way through the years until they can be together again. He knows he may never find her, but he can't risk not trying. This place calls to her, just as it did to him. It will bring her back home. It will bring her back to him. What's 300 years when it comes to true love? He's prepared to wait an eternity if he has to, just to see her, hold her, kiss her again.. to make her remember what was stolen from them so long ago. To make her remember who she is, the power she possesses and the love they swore to each other.If you'd like to purchase My Soul to Wake, feel free to grab your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XUCJB4Q

BOOK TRAILER
TEASERS






OTHER BOOKS BY TARA OAKES
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LEARN MORE ABOUT TARA
Tara is a thirty something newbie author from Long Island, New York. She's a voracious reader, a passionate writer and obsessive junk T.V. aficionado. When she's not doing one of those three things she is attempting to garden, hanging with her hubby or partaking in some retail therapy. She enjoys connecting with her readers and is having a blast entering into this new world of publishing.
FIND TARA ONLINE

Friday, May 22, 2015

#REVIEW: Forty Days Through Genesis by Ron Rhodes

Title: Forty Days Through Genesis
Series: none
Author:  Ron Rhodes
Published Date: February 1, 2015
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Format: ebook
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780736960960
Genre: Bible devotional
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: The opening scenes in the story of redemption are essential for understanding what the rest of the Bible has to say about God, the world, and you. As you uncover the mysteries of the beginning of time, you'll discover how the sovereign God cares for the world, blesses those who walk in faith, and keeps his covenant promises.

To help you personally interact with the vital truths of Genesis, trusted Bible teacher Ron Rhodes provides...Scripture Readings and Insights--short passages of Genesis and easy-to-understand notes on each verse Major Themes--brief summaries of the most important ideas Cross-References--several other passages you can look up on relevant topics Life Lessons--practical applications to everyday life Questions for Reflection and Discussion--thought-provoking conversation starters for group discussions or personal journaling

Use this 40-day journey alone or with friends to fortify the foundations of your faith.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t get that much out of this, definitely not as much as I thought I would. I will put the blame on the difference in theological beliefs that the author and I have. I think that because of those differences I couldn’t take this book as seriously as I would have normally. I also didn’t enjoy it as much because I found myself arguing internally with the beliefs.
So the lesson is: a Bible devotional has to at least line up with your beliefs at least somewhat otherwise, you most likely won’t get anything out of it. That can be more detrimental than helpful.


#PREORDER #SALE: My Soul to Wake by Tara Oakes

My Soul to Wake will be available for pre-order on May 23rd and May 24th for 0.99 cents. Make sure to get it at that time before it goes up to it’s regular price of $2.99! You can find teasers and the trailer as well as the synopsis below!
Witchcraft. Reincarnation. True love. These are the things of legend. Unexplained, some even say impossible, but nonetheless prevalent in stories and tales from all cultures and in every land from the beginning of time. What if there is something to it? What if there is an explanation behind the mysteries and bedtime stories? Something beyond words? SALEM, MASSACHUSETTES 1692 She was taken from him in the cruelest way... condemned, sentenced and punished out of fear of the unknown. How is he supposed to live without her? How can he go on knowing that in this life, by the natural order of things, they will never be together? There's only one thing to do... only one option that will bring them together again. SALEM , MASSACHUSETTES TODAY Amelia is taken on a weekend excursion with her best girlfriends to let loose, relax and have a little fun. What harm is there in a little vacation? It's not like the legends, the haunted history of the place can scare them away. It's all harmless fun. Or so she thought. Something seems familiar about the town. The trees, the winds, the feel of everything. Her ever present nightmares have become more intense within the limits of the old historical setting. She's prepared to write off the whole trip as nothing more than a case of her mind running away with the sensationalized magic here. When she meets a handsome stranger who's eager to know her in a way no one else can, she begins to think there may be something more to this place, something more to him. Will has been waiting, biding his time, and praying that she'll come back. He's broken the natural order of things to possibly find her again, weaving their way through the years until they can be together again. He knows he may never find her, but he can't risk not trying. This place calls to her, just as it did to him. It will bring her back home. It will bring her back to him. What's 300 years when it comes to true love? He's prepared to wait an eternity if he has to, just to see her, hold her, kiss her again.. to make her remember what was stolen from them so long ago. To make her remember who she is, the power she possesses and the love they swore to each other.
And don’t forget to join the Release Game! It will go from March 19th until Release Day. There will be prizes galore, including daily prizes! You can join the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1628927154003076/
My Soul to Wake will be releasing on Memorial Day, 2015. MAY 25TH, 2015
BOOK TRAILER
TEASERS

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#SPOTLIGHT and #GIVEAWAY: A New Threat by Aaron Demott

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Title:   A New Threat
Series:  The Psygen Chronicles
Author:   Aaron Demott
Published:  April 21st, 2015
Publisher:  AltWit Press
Genre:  YA Science Fiction

Synopsis:

When an alien ship lands unexpectedly in the middle of her clan’s territory, Bast is sent to investigate as part of her scout trial. After an accident, she meets these new visitors. She and her senior scout Rrrark are invited to return with the aliens to their home planet to open diplomatic relations. What started out as a simple diplomatic mission becomes complicated when they discover a pirate scheme that might be more than it seems. Only Bast, Rrrark, and two of the aliens called Pysgens are capable of stopping the pirates.


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About the Author:
Aaron has had a few different jobs, ranging from computer tech support, to real-estate, and lawn and farm sales and service. He also enjoys photography and reading, and has been a Star Trek and Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember.
The Psygen Chronicles, Book 1: A New Threat is Aaron’s first novel.


Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads




Excerpt from A New Threat by Aaron Demott:
Bast rushed through the forest while trying to maintain some measure of stealth. She flicked her ears in every direction and listened for anything unusual. So far, only natural sounds filled the forest.
The air was crisp and sunlight filtered through the leaves. The perfect day for her first assignment. She clenched her jaw, measured her breathing, and straightened her tail. She needed this assignment to go well. Only then could she be recognized as an adult.

Scouts from every one of the clans had seen the giant metal ship—something that large and with such an unnatural shape could only be a ship—come slowly down to the ground. If it kept going without a change in its speed or direction, it would land in the part of the Large Grassland which fell inside in her clan's territory. Besides, where could it have come from? What sort of creature would travel through the stars on such a craft?

She approached the edge of the forest and looked around for a nice bit of cover. She found a line of bushes between a stand of trees. It would work perfectly and provide an escape back into the forest if it became necessary. She sat on her haunches behind the brush, curled her tail around her feet, and licked a speck of dust off one of the white patches of fur on her paw. The ship should land soon.
"It could be crashing too..." she mused aloud.

But the scouts and scientists had reported it was on a stable course and wasn't on fire or anything. She liked surprises–for the most part–and this would certainly be an interesting sight. A faint, high-pitched noise came from the west. She poked her nose from the bush and raised her whiskers in that direction. Nothing yet. She waited a little longer. The sound grew louder, and a slight wind blew across the plain.


Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • Signed Print copy of A New Threat (US only). If winner is INT the prize is an ecopy of A New Threat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

#REVIEW: Only For Us by Cristin Harber


Title: Only For Us
Series: Only #3
Author:  Cristin Harber
Published Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Mill Creek Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 126
ISBN: 9781942236160
Genre: contemporary romance
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: The third installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.
Grayson and Emma. First love. True love. And... they have a daughter. Abandonment is his curse. He left his woman, survived his team, and missed the moment most precious to a father. Until now.
"I didn't know you were killing yourself with work. I didn't know you're raising our daughter. So help me God, had I known, there is no military force on earth that would've kept me from you."
Love needs to heal all, or they won't survive the collision of their separate lives. Emma must reach deep into her heart that is barely hanging on and find forgiveness. Grayson, wrecked with PTSD-filled nightmares, must prove that he's here to stay and able to rebuild his family against all odds.
"I need to say I love you. But what I mean is I love you--in a way that defies definition and exists only in a world that you and I are in."
Only for Us is the third installment in the Only series. All novellas will release Spring 2015.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
There are few books that will make me cry. There are even fewer books that will make me cheer out loud. This is one of the rare books that will make me do both. Cristin Harber is a rare author that can make me do both in multiple books of hers.
Emma and Grayson are together much to the chagrin of her family who think Grayson got some booty and left for the Army after putting a notch in his bedpost. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the way Emma stood up to her family made me cringe. I wouldn’t have that kind of courage to do what she did, too afraid that their help would be pulled out from under my feet.
Yes, I would be afraid; she stood up for her love. Emma’s a much better woman than I. I would try for more diplomacy.
And then Delta Force shows up…oh my gosh! I completely fangirl’d in front of my Kindle. Completely and utterly squealed and brought my kids running in to see what was so exciting. It was rather anti0climactical they didn’t squeal with me but rolled their eyes.

Finally the end….oh the end….oh my what a cliffhanger….no, it can’t end like this, it just can’t….oh my gosh!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#SPOTLIGHT and #GIVEAWAY: Prodigal and Riven byTyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

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Title:  Prodigal and Riven
Series:  The Lost Imperials Series, books 2 and 3
Author:  Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin
Published:  May 5th, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YAm Steampunk, Time Travel
Content Warning:  Violence, adult language, and mild romance

Synopsis:  Welcome to the TIME WAR
STEIN has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.
ETHAN is left with a serious problem after what should have been a routine mission. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.
Excerpt from Prodigal by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin:
STEIN
One
Though I’ve never been here before, the darkness is familiar, comforting. Above me, the moon reaches its apex, the soft, full glow illuminating the sky so the stars are barely visible. I nestle against the bark of a large pine tree. There’s no snow on the ground yet, but the air is heavy with the promise of a coming storm. The smell is crisp and clean and not at all like home.
Home.
The Hollow Tower.
Subconsciously, my hand goes to my arm, gently stroking the device wound around my wrist. The Tether is a Tesla invention, something the Hollows aren’t supposed to use. But there was no way was I going to try to get permission for this little trip, so I made an exception. Ember brought a few Tethers with her when she defected from The Institute. I doubt she’ll even be upset when she figures out that I pinched one from Nobel’s lab. He’s working on re-creating them for us, a welcome alternative to the stomach churning Contra we normally use. In the past few weeks, things have changed rapidly in The Hollow Tower, and one of those things is my newfound friendship with Ember—a girl I’d been all too willing to kill just a few short weeks ago.
The enemy of my enemy and all that.
No, this was better. Getting permission would mean going to Gloves for Contra, and he would want to know why I needed it. I’m not ready to face him—or the others—just yet. Not until I’m absolutely sure.
During my last mission, I’d found one of Tesla’s old journals. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, if not for the emblem sketched on the first page, the symbol so like the mark I carried below my naval.
As a rule, Rifters don’t remember our pasts; it’s all part of the process, the washing away of our memories. Lex and Ember are the only ones I know who recovered those lost years, who know who they are and where they come from. For them, it is a mixed blessing. It brought them back together as brother and sister, but also brought back the truth about everything they lost.
And they lost so much.
I was never curious about my past before that. The Hollow Tower had been my home since I was only a few years old— much younger than most of the others when they were brought in. I always assumed there was something tragic, some dark reason I was taken so young. And unlike Lex, I was perfectly content not remembering.
Until now.
I creep through the woods to the dirty window of the cabin, stepping carefully in my tall, black leather boots. The slightest noise will alert the paranoid man inside to my presence. Luckily, I have plenty of practice sneaking up on people. Inside, Tesla fiddles with a rat’s nest of antenna wiring that drops through a duct in the roof. Crouching down, I blow on my hands and rub them together. Being at fourteen thousand feet elevation smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. I have a major headache, my toes are numb, and my nose is running like a leaky faucet. I sniffle hard and my ears pop from the pressure building in my sinuses. It’s going to take a week’s worth of hot showers just to get warm again.
I watch through the glass as Tesla gets frustrated with the wiring, throws a handful of tools against the wall, and begins pacing back and forth, running his hands through his jet-black hair and down his face, yelling at the wad of copper filament on the wood floor. Finally, he slumps into a chair facing a chalkboard on the wall. Pouring himself a drink from a half-empty bottle of amber-colored liquid on the table beside him, he rests the glass against his forehead.
This is one of the few times I’ve been able to catch him alone. For a recluse, he somehow manages to keep a constant orbit of assistants and hangers-on nearby. Tonight, however, he’s working alone, having long since sent the others away in a fit of frustration.
The window has warped with age, forming ripples in the glass. Between that and the frost beginning to form, it’s getting harder to see. Trying to ignore the cold biting at my fingers and the tips of my nose and ears, I lean forward, forcing my eyes to focus through the distortion. This is actually the closest I’ve ever been to him. He sits there, red faced and sweaty, swigging another mouthful of alcohol. His suit coat has a hole in the elbow and half of the collar is folded inside the jacket. His shoes and pants are muddy to the knees. I’ve never seen him so disheveled, or so drunk. I check the date on my Tether. It’s my third trip to get what I need from him. I’ve tried twice before, in other times and other places, only to wind up empty-handed. If I don’t get what I came for tonight, I don’t know when I’ll be able to try again. The others are already growing suspicious of my random disappearances—especially Lex. He’s entirely too tuned into me. It’s hard to keep things from him. Unlike the others, he has an uncanny ability to see through me, and he never hesitates to call me on my crap.
I kind of love that about him.
But as with Gloves and the others, I am stuck keeping secrets from him. Right now, all I have is a pile of questions with no answers. What I found written in the tattered journal pages read like fiction—the insane ramblings of a lunatic scientist. But there was something else too, bits and pieces that when put together…

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About the Authors:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. She is the author of several YA novels ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction. In her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas radio show and is constantly trying to take over the world.
Tyler Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue dentistry. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in 2002. He then completed a four year orthodontic and periodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2006, he opened a private practice, Jolley Smiles, in Grand Junction, Colorado.Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are the things he enjoys doing with his family. He also enjoys lecturing internationally on temporary orthodontic implants. Some of his journal articles have also been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.When life gets stressful he escapes to unseen worlds to find relaxation. His career has been the vehicle to let him write without worry. He finds inspiration from most of his adolescent patients. He continues to dream up fun and thrilling books to this day.
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, May 18, 2015

#SPOTLIGHT and #GIVEAWAY: Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver by Bobbi Carducci

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 photo Confessions-of-an-Imperfect-Caregiver.jpg Title:  Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver
Author:  Bobbi Carducci
Published:  July 26th, 2014
Publisher:   Open Books Press
Genre:  Creative Non-fiction, Memoir
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:
Bobbi Carducci’s life was about to change. Her ill father-in-law’s odd behavior was a mystery when he came to live with her and Mike. For the next seven years Bobbi did everything she could to save him from himself – while he tried to convince everyone that he didn’t need her and that she was crazy.
A nonfiction that reads like a novel, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, is the story of a real family dealing with one of the fastest growing issues of our day. Caring for seriously ill family members at home. Meet Bobbi Carducci. Laugh, cry and pray with her as she does the hardest job she ever loved.
Every 26 seconds another person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in the U.S.

Excerpt from Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver:
For fifteen years I’d known him as my gentle, henpecked father-in-law. A man who longed for a little peace and quiet and always seemed eager to please. As saddened as I was by my mother-in-law’s passing, I had believed that living in my home, free from the constant yelling and criticism, he’d come out of his shell and begin to enjoy life.
Sitting in a hospital parking lot so many years later, I was just beginning to discover how very wrong I’d been.
Had he been pretending all these years? Is the real Rodger the one who announced to the nursing staff that I’m useless and no damned good? Does the medicine he takes every day allow him to be himself, or does it mask his true nature? Who is this man who lives in my house and paces the halls late at night? .. .
Where did I go wrong? What did I miss and how can I make sure this doesn't happen again? Those questions and more went unanswered as I covered the miles between the hospital and home, my mind and body too tired to cope with the guilt I felt at that moment. Despite all my good intentions, I’d let him down.


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About the Author:
Intrigued by TV doctors, Bobbi Carducci told everyone she was going to be a brain surgeon when she grew up.  When she couldn't bring herself to cut up a frog in biology class she realized she had to find another way to get inside people’s heads and became a writer instead.
Bobbi was an in home caregiver for her serious ill father-in-law, Rodger, for seven years. Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is the first book in a planned Caregiver series depicting the true stories of people caring for loved ones at home.
Bobbi Carducci is a former senior staff writer for the Purcellville Gazette, a small Washington, D.C. area newspaper. Her short stories appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort Anthologies as well is in print and online magazines.
Bobbi’s book for young readers, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, received both a Mom’s Choice Award and a Living Now Award for Excellence. It was also named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers by Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer.
For three years she wrote a monthly book review column for About Families Publications before resigning to concentrate on writing Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver and her blog, The Imperfect Caregiver. Bobbi also writes regularly on care giving for AgingCare.com and The Caregiver Space.


Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • A print copy of Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver (US only)
  • An ecopy of  Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver (Int)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

#REVIEW: Exodus: Shadow of the Mountain #1 by Cliff Graham

Title: Exodus
Series: The Shadow of the Mountain #1
Author:  Cliff Graham
Published Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: paperback
Pages: 303
ISBN: 9780764214752
Genre: biblical fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga
Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in
Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.
For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A prevalent theme in this book is how life doesn’t end up quite the way we dream it will in our youth. In this book, the author has written a whole backstory to a character who is only mentioned a few times in the Bible: Caleb, of Caleb and Joshua. In here, Caleb comes from the Kezzanites, and goes to Egypt to find his fame and fortune through being an artist, a carver of beautiful images. Instead, he ends up being sponsored to be in the Scorpions, an elite group of Egyptian warriors, where he excels. This puts him directly in the palace when Moses and Aaron approach the Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt.

This is a fascinating book that shows a firsthand account of the ten plagues of Egypt from the Egyptian point of view, but doesn’t actually get to them until the last half of the book. The author does a spectacular job of really fleshing out Caleb, giving him a back story, and yes, using artistic license with it. Caleb must have been some important figure in the Bible, for with the thousands upon thousands of Israelites that were alive during the Exodus, many of them were never named. The storyline has just enough action to keep you reading, though the beginning I admit, was a bit slow and dry for me.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

#REVIEW: Lifting the Veil by Kate Allenton

Title: Lifting the Veil
Series: Veil/Dixon Security Services #1
Author:  Kate Allenton
Published Date: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Coastal Escape Publishing LLC
Format: ebook
Pages: 170
ASIN: B00LE12VX8
Genre: paranormal fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Unemployed accountant Sophie Masterson never dreams that a trip to Salem on Halloween night will change her life forever. When a birthday gift of a psychic reading is thrust upon her by her best friend, Sophie has no choice but to play along. She wants the winning lottery numbers but, instead, receives something far more ominous—a warning of things to come. Being told her own clairvoyant abilities will soon surface should be enough to send any woman running to hide. Throw in the possibility that something sinister is headed her way and all she wants is an easy out. 
When asked to help her brother, the police chief, with some easy filing, she’s sure that her problems are over. She now has an income, a job, and a safe haven where she can relax. What she doesn’t expect is that one of those files will be the catalyst to set the wheels in motion for the predictions to come true. 
Detective Jack Love has a hard time following instructions. When his latest bust gets him benched, and shoved in the cold case filing room, the last thing he expects is to be tasked with babysitting the chief’s sister. When unqualified and in-need-of-medication Sophie gets the crazy idea to play detective on a case gone cold, there is little he can do to dissuade her from investigating. 
Attempting to keep her clairvoyant abilities a secret, Sophie Masterson thrusts herself into a cold case where the dead are multiplying, the clues are disappearing, and the hunky cop assigned to play babysitter is a nonbeliever. She doesn’t hold out much hope for solving the case, much less keeping her secret, especially when the dead seek her out to tell their tales. 
When Sophie plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with winner takes all, it’s no longer the dead that scare her, but Jack Love. Surviving with her heart intact now ranks at the top of her list.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first book by Kate Allenton, and I wasn’t too disappointed by it. I was kind of avoiding reading this book because it sounded awfully cheesy to me. When I finally sat down with it, I was hooked. The author writes in such a way as to keep the reader engaged from the first paragraph to the last page. The writing is descriptive enough to be able to visualize it, and yet not too wordy as to become tedious and bog the reader down in details.
The main characters of Sophie and Jack could have been fleshed out a little more, especially Jack. You could see his attraction growing for Sophie, but besides what he says, you don’t see it very often. I think Sophie let go of her secret a little too quickly, and those who learned about it, accepted it a little too easily.
The sex scenes between Sophie and Jack were graphic, but the usual graphic, definitely no fade to black scenes. So if it bothers you, either skip over them, or just don’t read the book. But if you choose to not read the book, you’re missing out on a good story.
The storyline itself reminded me of Ghost Whisperer, the old television show with Jennifer Love Hewitt, especially the way Sophie handled the scene with the bad guy and his wife.

Overall, not a bad book, and I will be looking for more from this author.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Indie Book Fest: Sign Up Now!

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Indie BookFest 2015 is a three-day event celebrating indie/hybrid/traditional authors and artists and their freedom of expression. Join some of your favorite authors for three days filled with a book signing, sessions, lunch, author meet and greets, an after party, and great fun!
You won’t want to miss the sessions throughout the day, where panelists will be speaking on a variety of topics relevant to readers, book lovers, and writers. Indie BookFest 2015 will be held at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Fl., on July 31, August 1, & 2, 2015
The Caribe Royale is located just 1.5 miles from the Walt Disney World® area!
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Over 60 authors representing indie, hybrid and traditional publishing will be featured at this premier author and reader event.
Keynote speaker is multi-award winning author Jana Oliver.
This weekend is all about readers connecting and finding new authors to love. There are reader panels, a Fan Fare where readers can hang out with the authors, a Gothic Romance party, a gourmet luncheon, Author sponsored parties, and a book signing.

Attending Authors

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View the Schedule of Events
$75 Buys an Entire weekend pass which includes all of the parties and the luncheon Saturday!
Buy Tickets HERE
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Are you a blogger? Get a blogger media pass for $50!
Help us promote the event!
It includes all of the above as well as a casual Author/ Blogger breakfast.
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Book your HOTEL! We have special pricing for our event.
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