Monday, March 31, 2014

It's a Late Monday, what are you reading?

These past few weeks have been....busy to say the least. Today is one week since one of my uncle's passed away unexpectedly, and trying to be there for my family while 1500 miles away has been heart-wrenching for me. Work has been an absolute whirlwind. And this Wednesday will be 3 weeks since I got hooked up to a portable heart monitor to record any arrhythmias. I have occasional bouts of Supraventricular Tachycardia and they want to record it for a definite diagnosis. They haven't happened yet, and I'm a little bummed. No recordings mean no definitive answers, which mean no definitive plans of action. One more week of it and then I'm back at the doctor's to see what the next step is if it doesn't happen.

And of course, I have been reading...not as much as I would have liked, but I have added an extraordinary amount of books to my weekly TBR list. So here it is:

  1. Undeniable by Tawdra Kandle
  2. Unquenchable by Tawdra Kandle
  3. Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber
  4. Take This Cup by Bodie Thoene
  5. Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson
  6. Peacock Swamp: The Nine by Katie Femia
  7. Fragile Creatures by Kristina Circelli

First Impression by Pauline Creeden

Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.

Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?

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Author Bio:
 In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. Her books have hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List and Armored Hearts won the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award in Historical Fiction. First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban fantasy and will be released March 24, 2014.

 Goodreads Link: \

Goodreads Book Giveaway

First Impression by Pauline Creeden

First Impression

by Pauline Creeden

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

 She rips my hall pass from her pad and points it toward the young man sitting across from her desk. “Chira Kelley, meet Ben Oscuro. He’s new here and needs someone to show him around. It just so happens he’s also a member of class 18B.”
I finally focus on the boy. He doesn’t look up at me, and his disheveled dark hair is just long enough that it hides his eyes. But he pushes himself up from his chair, and his slim form towers over me. He’s at least six-feet-two and his uniform is almost as crumpled as his hair. He swings his backpack onto a strong, square shoulder and nibbles his full bottom lip. His smooth olive skin and dark hair make him look like a foreign rocker, and there’s something about him that seems vaguely familiar.
“Here’s a copy of his class schedule. When you’re not in the same class, I want you to leave a few minutes early and help him find the next class room. That’s your job for today. Got it?”
I swallow back and resist sniffling again. Taking the hall pass and the copy of the schedule from her, I say, “Um…sure.”
“Excellent. Robin, you’re off the hook.”
The office aide pumps a fist in the air before returning to file more papers in the cabinet. The secretary’s chair squeals a dismissal, and Mrs. Campbell picks up her phone, returning to her duties without another word.
Ben pulls open the office door and stands to the side to allow me to go first. The hallway that was empty only a short while ago is now full of students and their continuous conversations. With a shrug, I eye his class schedule quickly. Except for second and sixth period, we have exactly the same schedule. He’s in all of the advanced classes, too. Only he has gym for second period and Latin for sixth – opposite of my schedule, except I take French.
Piece of cake.
I glance up at him again, and his eyes meet mine. My breath hitches. His intense gaze makes me feel like he’s measuring me. The dark pools of his eyes seem deep and bottomless, but there’s something strange about them. They’re brown, but he has colored contacts. Why would anyone color their eyes brown?
My heart flutters. A sniffle escapes me before I can stop it. Ugh. I clear my throat and start in the direction of first period. “Follow me.”
We elbow our way down the freshman hall toward the second floor, but before we start up I point down the way. “Do you know what your locker number is?”
Ben nods and pushes his backpack on his shoulder farther.
I wait for a second and then smile. “What is it?”
“706.” He has a slight accent, and his voice is deeper than I expect. I suppress a shiver at the jolt the musical timbre of his voice sends through my body. I’m resonating like a tuning fork. I really want him to speak again with every fiber of my being. What’s with me?
“Uh…okay.” I swallow, trying to regain composure. I take him to the general area of the locker. “Here it is.”
He looks at it, nods, and returns his hard gaze to me. Is he always so stiff? Probably just nerves from being new.
“I know you don’t have any books to put in it, but do you want to try out the combination?”
He lifts one shoulder in a shrug and spins the combo quickly through the three numbers. I purposefully avert my eyes so he knows I’m not peeking. He opens the locker wide, nods toward me, and then closes it again.
“Great. We have first period over here.”
“You and I have the same first period?”
My body vibrates again, and I blink hard. So glad my back was to him so he couldn’t see the effect his voice has on me. I swallow and face him. “Actually, yeah. Our schedules are very similar. It’s a smallish school, so there’re only a few tracks that juniors can be on.”
He nods, and his eyes are half lidded as if he’s bored already.
I lead him toward our classroom. “We don’t really have assigned seats, so you can pretty much sit anywhere you want. I’ll show you to the gym at the end of class. I have French next, but it’s not too far from there.” 
I lead him to the front of the class, and my friend Tasha gives me a wan smile and raises her eyebrows, looking back and forth between me and Ben. She mouths, Who’s that?
I roll my eyes and put up one finger toward her to let her know I’ll tell her in a minute. Then I turn to the teacher. I hand him the schedule from the office. “Hi, Mr. Scott, this is Ben Oscuro, a transfer.”
Mr. Scott’s kind blue eyes smile at us both. He sets down the Mountain Dew he was drinking and offers Ben a wide grin. He puts a hand out for him to shake. Ben hesitates but takes the hand in what looks like a firm grip. Mr. Scott shakes his hand afterward. “That’s some grip you’ve got there.” He laughs and leans down to the bottom drawer of his desk and hands Ben a geography text book.
With a nod, I return to Tasha and squeeze into the desk next to hers. I’m at Jackson Hall partially on my father’s insurance money partially on scholarship because my stepdad works at the school. What he does, I don’t know, because I’ve never seen him. Because of all this, I’m somewhat of a social pariah. My only real friend is Tasha Brown, a pariah herself, being one of the few African-American kids in the school. Still she tends to be more popular than me, because at least her family has the money they’ve made in the night club and music business. But then there’s that rumor…
“So who is the new hottie?” Tasha hops up and down in her seat.
I shake my head at her. “You are one big hormone, you know that? Sure, he’s cute, but is there any guy in the room you don’t consider a hottie?”
Tasha scans the room with her hand on her chin and a very serious expression on her face. Her hair is in the typical pigtail braids she usually uses to play up the uniform. She has on no sweater, and her shirt is one size too small, the buttonholes at the front  stretched to expose part of her red bra. Finally she returns her gaze to me. “There’s only one guy in here that doesn’t rank hottie.”
“Really? Who?”
She leans in conspiratorially and whispers, “Mr. Scott.”
I nearly choke on a laugh as I eye the middle-aged, balding teacher at the front of the room. But I have to admit, Jackson Hall is a prep school. And there's no one who can afford to make their children look their best more than the wealthy. I guess if I take my father’s words to heart, it’s better to be the poor kid in the rich kids’ school…than the other way around. Right?
Tasha’s smile returns, and I follow her gaze to figure out why. Ben Oscuro walks down the aisle between us and takes the desk right behind mine. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. He smells like pine and mint, and it reminds me of the outdoors. When I open them again, Tasha’s smile has grown impossibly wider. She leans towards me and whispers, “What was that you said about hormones again?”
I shove my elbow toward her, but she dodges me with a giggle.

 Hope to see you all there!!

Brought to you by the Release Day Diva



Anna James is single again, finally. In her opinion, men are self-centered and will never love her for who she is, a beautiful, plus sized woman. All except the fantasy man that she’s been meeting in her dreams for five years.
She just never expected her fantasy to be a real live alpha shifter...
Cade Le Beau isn't what he seems. He’s a billionaire wolf. A Shifter. He laments his missed chance six months ago to meet his fantasy woman in the flesh. Just as his second chance presents itself, his fantasy woman, his mate, is threatened by the local mob boss and her ex-husband. Now, he has forty eight hours to deal with this threat once and for all or chance losing her again.
Is it Anna who’s in danger, or the humans who unwittingly threaten her?
The heat is on the moment they lay eyes on each other. Neither, age, children, horrid ex-husbands, nor mob bosses will stop this love affair.

Buy it   Amazon   B & N

Prologue- The Plan “Emma, we need to take matters into our own hands or they’ll never find their mates.” Isaac Le Beau set his snifter down before he crushed the glass in frustration. “We have seven virile, grown sons, who after two hundred years haven’t found their mates. If we don’t step in and give a hand to the wolf-goddess Luperca, our sons may spend their lives alone, without children to raise and without their other half to love. Dang it, I want some grandchildren, while I’m still young enough to enjoy them.” He slowly raised his head and gazed at the love of his life, Emma. She was a unique blend of Romanian gypsy heritage and a very powerful voodoo priestess. Even after two centuries her exotic sparkling dark eyes and compact killer soft curves left him breathless. Some would classify her as a big, beautiful woman. He called her ‘sex on a stick‘. He swore she controlled every beat of his heart. The warmth and agreement in those mesmerizing eyes silently prompted him to continue. “Would you do your high-priestess voodoo thing and ask the spirits to identify their mates? With some influence we could bring them together, so they can recognize them on their own. I don’t want to force a meeting. Simply provide the opportunity. How about it, will you give it a try?” Isaac asked. He knew Emma wouldn’t deny him. “Of course, I’ll perform the ritual, but I can’t give you any guarantees. All I can do is try. If we are truly blessed, Luperca will appear to me and give this endeavor her approval. I want our sons happy and I’d love to have a dozen grandchildren running around the house, too.” Isaac opened his arms wide, inviting Emma to slide onto his lap. He buried his face into her hair breathing in her unique scent. The familiar fragrance calmed him like nothing else. He was confident everything would change for his sons very soon. He could hardly wait for each of them to meet their one true mate. No wolf should go fourteen hundred years alone. Two weeks later, they enjoyed the cool breeze that came off the river, flowing through the open windows. A secret little smile lit up Emma’s entire face and her fingers tapped a tune on her cut crystal wine glass. He knew that expression well. “Out with it, Emma,” Isaac said with a grin of his own. “What is it you’re dying to tell me?” He waited patiently for her to tell him her grand news. Emma actually bounced in her seat. “I received answers from the goddess.” She clapped her hands excitedly. “Cade's mate is in New Orleans right now. Her name is Anna James. The goddess said she has had many unhappy years, but is now open to finding her one true love. Isn’t that fantastic? Two days from now she is destined to be in Jackson Square and then stop to eat lunch at Crescent City Brewhouse. She’ll be in the bar around eleven-thirty. As for the rest of the boys, the goddess said we must have patience. She’ll grant me visions in my dreams or come to me for each of them when the time is right.” A surge of excited energy rushed through him as a hundred butterflies took up residence in his stomach. This must be what it felt like to win the lottery he thought. “We’ll have to move fast. We need to think of a way to get Cade there at the right time.” “Maybe we can come up with a way to use Jackson square? Cade sits there so often it might be an option?” Emma offered. “Maybe.” He rubbed his chin, forehead crinkled in deep thought. “First we need to get him out of his home office and into the French Quarter. The bank called yesterday about a restaurant up for sale. I’ll have them schedule a meeting with Cade to review our investments and recommend this new opportunity.” He tapped his chin as the plan took shape, mumbling as he worked it out. He stood and paced across the room, prowled like the animal he was. He couldn’t think properly sitting down. As he strode back and forth, he noted she had settled into an easy chair to watch him. “That’ll get him to the city,” he thought aloud as he continued to tap his finger on his chin. “You’re right about his constant people watching, I’m sure he’ll take a walk and perhaps sit a while. A possibility.” Isaac cupped his jaw in his hand and rubbed the coarse stubble. A satisfied smile tugged at his lips. “I’ve got it! I’ll ask him to meet me for lunch at Crescent City at eleven-thirty. Richie tends the bar, he’ll know the mating signs. When Cade arrives, goddess willing, he will sense his mate. I’ll have Richie tell him I won’t be able to make it. If I’m not there for lunch he will be free to spend time with her.” Smile broadening, he folded his arms across his chest and nodded. They had a solid plan. In less than a week he could have his first daughter-in-law. Isaac settled into his leather captain’s chair. “I’ll arrange everything with Richie." He felt two hundred years younger, like the bold robust young man who had swept his mate off her feet. By the wistful expression Emma wore, he must look it, too. As he sipped his rich, sweet cognac, he imagined a baby in Emma’s lap, sleeping peacefully while a toddler played with blocks on the floor. His sigh brought her attention to him with a raised brow. She would laugh if she knew what he was dreaming. A smile continued to pull at his lips. He couldn’t help it. He was very pleased with his little romance ambush, positive it would be successful. Cade was in for a wonderful surprise in two days’ time. “Now that we have the plan, what do you think she will be like? Did the goddess give you any hints?” She laughed. “No, you silly man, the goddess doesn’t have time for things like that.” “You know he has always favored curvy women. I sure hope she isn’t skinny, he might not even look at her if she is.” A little shiver ran through him. “Remember the gal he dated who looked a lot like you? She was a plus sized beauty. Cade never said anything, but Marcus drove him crazy with that ‘Oedipus’ nickname.” He laughed as he recalled the antics of the boys. “You’re right, he does like a woman with meat on her bones. All the boys do.”

V.A.Dold is the author of the Le Beau Brothers series, New Orleans wolf shifter novels. A graduate of Saint Cloud University, she majored in marketing. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a publicist to the authors, owning Innovative Online Book Tours and ARC Author & Reader Con's (ARC NOLA) (ARC Phoenix). Still is. The companies mesh so well together, much like PB&J.
Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter filled with nothing but her computer, her coffee mug and the Brothers, of course.
A Minnesota native with her heart lost to Louisiana, she has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she's not writing, she's probably taking in a movie, reading or traveling.
Her earliest reading memories are from grade school. She had a major fixation with horses, and the Black Stallion was a favorite. Then junior high came along and teenage hormones kicked in. It became all about the Harlequin Romances. She has been hooked on romances ever since.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Blast and GIVEAWAY: Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism by Karina Poirier

Unlocking the Social Potential

Unlocking the Social Potential_Final_ShadowsTo your dismay, your child has received a diagnosis of autism. Along with this alarming news comes the barrage of emotions that suffocates you like an avalanche— denial—confusion—depression—guilt. You want to fix your child; you have a million questions; and you want answers immediately. Autism is a journey in which the child and her family navigate challenges and experience achievements along the way. To guide you in this rewarding journey, Dr. Karina Poirier offers her expertise in this book that parents will find incredibly useful. In this book, you will find the answers you’ve desperately been seeking. Dr. Poirier has provided in simple, easy to comprehend language, an overview of child development, a descriptive explanation of how autism affects each developmental area, and guidelines for advancing your child’s functioning in all developmental domains. You will appreciate the multitude of hands-on, full-color sample lessons for teaching social and emotional skills, language, problem-solving and decision making, and play skills to children with autism. Publisher: Social Cognition Publications | Irvine, CA Color: Full-color illustrations Pages: 300 ISBN (Print): 9780988798205 ISBN (Digital): 9780988798212 Available: March 2014
Available at:

Improving social and communication skills in children with autism

Dr. Karina Poirier, author of Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism, says that understanding a child’s unique needs is the key step to dealing with concerns and developing their strengths. “Bring everything into the light. The worst thing you can do,” she said, “is to ignore the issue. Parents can help their children learn how to communicate better and develop social skills that will help them thrive later in life. Get help early, identify the specific issues you are facing, ask questions, learn everything you can, and devise a concrete and detailed strategy for engaging your child so key skills are developed and strengthened”.

Here are her answers to some key concerns that parents of a child with autism are faced with.

Q: My child can sit through a learning task on the iPad or television; however, he becomes restless and fidgety when working with a teacher. Why?
 A: Your child’s attention system is reactive. Consider how much children learn from viewing television. Teachers struggle to get children’s attention when an activity does not include the sensory kaleidoscope children are used to receiving when sitting in front of the television. Key Action: Children must be taught at an early age how to develop the mental tools (attend, remember, think) to engage in deliberate and self-directed learning experiences with an adult’s guidance.
Q: My child does not respond appropriately to mood changes in others (e.g., when a peer’s mood changes from happiness to distress). Why?
A: Your child may be lacking the ability to read nonverbal cues. Children with autism often have impaired ability to read, interpret, and process social and emotional messages. Children who are unaware of others’ thoughts and feelings risk not developing the sense of self. Key Action: Treatment to teach the child the emotional codes that are part of the social experience. The child needs to develop the ability to understand other peoples’ emotions from their facial expression, tone of voice, and body posture. The child should be taught to recognize and interpret how people around him think and feel.
Q: My child has difficulty with describing his/her day at school, recounting an experience, or relaying a message. Why?
A: Delayed recall skills utilize episodic memory. Episodic memory allows us to remember past events and share these events with others. In other words, it is how we engage in reciprocal conversations with others. Episodic memory produces a conscious awareness of events that have occurred at any one time; it enables people to remember what happened to them in the past or to conceive the future. Key Action: Effective treatment is required for the child to learn about memory strategies and to practice remembering. Through repetition, the child develops not only better recall of past events, but also the skills to communicate the memory of the event to peers or adults during a conversation.
Q: My child is verbal and has good command of language; however, he has trouble initiating conversation with others and taking turns during a conversation. Why? A: Children with autism have difficulties in social initiation and social-emotional understanding. Engaging in a reciprocal conversation with others requires the development and interaction of memory, information processing, and expressive communication skills—all of which are pervasive deficits of children with autism. It is not that these children do not desire involvement with their peers. On the contrary, they do have the desire to be socially engaged with others; however, the dilemma lies in the fact that these children lack knowledge of social norms. Key Action: Effective treatment that emphasizes social norms and rules, and teaches children how to process social information by distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information in a social situation. Initiating and maintaining a conversation requires a person to have social knowledge, which is knowledge of event schemas.
Q: How much play time is appropriate to include in my child’s learning routine?
A: For a young child, teaching through play is extremely important. Play gives children something to do with their ample free time; it also serves the important purpose of honing children’s physical, social and emotional development. Play does not occur spontaneously in children with autism the way it does for typical children. Key Action: Investing significant time teaching through play focuses the child on developing fine and gross motor skills, interpreting the social cues of other children and adults, and responding to those social cues appropriately. Play can be used to develop the ability to interact with, explore, and, ultimately master their surroundings. Play is an essential part of the learning process, and its ability to mimic real-life scenarios makes it an ideal way to stimulate overall development.

About the author:

Karina Poirier, Psy.D., BCBA-D Dr. Karina Poirier is the Director of the Center for Social Cognition , a board certified behavior analyst at the doc-toral level (BCBA-D), and a certified cognitive educational therapist. Her clinical practice is devoted to providing outstanding individuals and group therapy that improves social and cognitive outcomes for individuals with autism, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and related disorders. Learn more at


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

REVIEW: Thrive: Digging Deep, Reaching Out by Mark Hall

Title: Thrive: Digging Deep, Reaching Out
Author: Mark Hall
Series: none
ISBN: 0310293340
Genre: Christian
Buy It Link: Amazon

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.

Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
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. 
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 hoping to read again very soon, and possibly get a physical copy of for myself.

Wicked Waves and Wicked Wind by Sharon Kay


Wicked Wind Born with the ability to command the wind, Nicole Bonham dispenses her own brand of vigilante justice in Chicago’s worst neighborhoods. Stealth and surprise are always on her side. Lash demon Gunnar prowls Earth and several supernatural realms to help maintain peace among the immortal species. His chance encounter with Nicole creates a hurricane of sparks between them, and he won’t rest until she is his. They race against time to solve a series of supernatural attacks in the city. Nicole’s true identity brings the attention of the crazed demon behind them, even as her passion for Gunnar binds them together, body and soul. Nicole has become the one thing Gunnar can’t live without. Yet facing their worst enemy may destroy her. Gunnar must put aside past tragedy and trust that through her ability and their bond, she has brought myth to life.

Buy on Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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?

Buy on Kindle | Paperback | B&N | Smashwords

About the author:

Sharon Kay was bitten early by the writing bug. At age twelve she wrote a short story, about a magic ring,that won a statewide Young Authors contest. With her nose always in a book, she read the most novels for her age group in her local library’s summer reading program. In her teens, writing took a back seat to fashion, as she was determined to find clothes different from what everyone else bought at the mall. And what she couldn’t find, she created. She learned to sew, worked in a fabric store after school, and spent her spare time with a needle in hand. Her black and orange prom dress is still one of her favorite creations. Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write again. But Wicked Wind and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper. Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons. Sharon loves to hear from readers! You can find her at: Sharonkay.novels(at) Twitter: @sharonkaynovels

Monday, March 24, 2014

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: First Impression by Pauline Creeden


First ImpressionA Shadow Maven Paranormal

Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben. Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
ISBN-13: 978-1495303944
ISBN-10: 1495303942
Expected Release Date: March 24, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Urban Mystery
Teaser Book Trailer:

Author Bio:

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. Her books have hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List and Armored Hearts won the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award in Historical Fiction. First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban fantasy and will be released March 24, 2014.  

Goodreads Book Giveaway

First Impression by Pauline Creeden

First Impression

by Pauline Creeden

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: 101 Bible Stories From Creation To Revelation

Title: 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revealation
101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation brings together 101 of the most well-known and beloved Bible stories. Written for young independent readers and with colorful artwork, this storybook Bible is sure to become a favorite. Each story is one page in length and features a picture depicting the main character or event of the story. Both story and artwork can also provide perfect springboards for further family or child and parent discussion of the rest of the story and its impact on our faith.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

REVIEW: Fifty Years in Polygamy by Kristyn Decker

Title: Fifty Years in Polygamy
Author: Kristyn Decker
Series: none
Publisher: Synergy Books Publishing
Published Date: republished Dec 25, 2013
ISBN: 9781936434527
Buy It Link: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Fifty Years in Polygamy is the personal history of Kristyn Decker, the daughter of a polygamist prophet. Within, she reveals a rare, uncensored, firsthand account of the inner workings of a Utah-based polygamist sect whose members today include high-profile reality television stars. Her gripping narrative describes the rampant anguish and abuse behind the happy faces that polygamist women present in public. Fifty Years in Polygamy is Kristyn’s inspiring journey, in which she challenges the common misconception that polygamy is simply a harmless lifestyle choice. For many, it is like modern-day slavery, she says.

Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was an emotionally painful book to read. Because it is truly a memoir, the writing style can be choppy at times, but the content of the book far supercedes any of the style, and pulls you in. Because I like to know more about this world than just the little micro-cosm that is my life, this is the second book on polygamy I've read. The first was His Favorite Wife by Susan Schmidt. Some of the people in that book were brought up in this book. 
There is a common theme between the two books, and its one of destitution and jealousy. The husband produces so many children and can't support, either monetarily or emotionally. The different wives, despite what the TV show Sister Wives will show, have a rampant jealousy over one another for their husband's time and affection. It's only human nature.
There is a theme of childhood sexual abuse within both books as well which is painful to read, and I would hope, is being addressed by the proper authorities.
Overall, its a very interesting book to read to get you out of your comfort zone and open your eyes to parts of this life that may not be a part of yours.

Monday, March 17, 2014

BLAST and GIVEAWAY: Peacock Swamp by Katie Femia


Peacock Swamp: Book 1 | The Nine

In 2064, The Nine are preparing to assemble. This board of individuals is President Madame LaFonte’s solution to an ailing nation in search of medical care. While it seemed ideal at first, the folks of the borough are quickly discovering it isn’t quite what it seems. The lucky ones are issued a red gown and another chance at life. That’s the happy ending. However, not everyone gets a red gown. The others have to make their own second chance at life--if they’ve got the heart to do what it takes. When the superstitions of the swamplands run just as deep as the mud, every little bit of luck helps. They named her Vitalia, a name that means life. But her name was the only advantage that she had. In need of a heart transplant, Vita leaves Peacock Swamp behind to stand before The Nine. With her family by her side, they run into the dangers that government healthcare has created: an underground medical clinic that services the rejected citizens...for a price. Her whole life has been a struggle. Why should her death be any different?

Purchase on Amazon - Paperback / Ebook

Katie Femia took a leap of faith several years ago and left her career as an elementary school teacher to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She now enjoys the day-to-day musings of writing for a variety of blogs and websites as a regular contributor. She covers topics such as home finance, DIY projects, money saving strategies, and everything in between. While a number of manuscripts still slumber in a kitchen drawer, Peacock Swamp | Book One: The Nine is her first published novel. She lives in South Bend, Indiana with her husband and three children, where they enjoy the typical Hoosier summers of chasing fireflies in their bare feet. When she isn’t writing, Katie can be found making over vintage furniture pieces and scouring local thrift spots.
Follow the author on her WEBSITE and FACEBOOK FANPAGE
The author is giving away a copy of her book (winner's choice - ebook or paperback ) and peacock bracelet. Fill out the form below to enter.
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REVIEW: A Lady's Plight by Katy Walters


Lady Isabella Winton waits years to marry her fianc├ę, but Lord Alexander Fitzroy, a reformed rake, always finds an excuse to delay the nuptials.
With the marriage set for the next month, Fitzroy tells her he is needed in Belgium almost immediately. He warns her it may be dangerous for her to accompany him. Isabella suspects he is bluffing. Brussels is the centre of a social whirl. She looked forward elaborate dinners and extravagant balls. Fearing Fitzroy may have returned to his rakish ways, she insists on travelling with him. Isabella is unaware that Lord Everard Ladness, heir to a dukedom, is obsessed with her and will go to any lengths to possess her.

Buy on: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

RATING: 3 1/2 stars

REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I really struggled through the first third of the book. The writing itself is good, it is very descriptive and enjoyable to read. The characters seemed too vapid and annoying to me. All they seemed to be were interested in clothing, social outings, and marriage. While Isabella seemed to be on the verge of being a very decent, feminist character, her head was still in the balls and clothing section of life.
The whole thing changes though during the wedding. Formerly annoying characters, like Isabella's mother, really come to life, and become enjoyable. During the trip to Brussels, Isabella really comes into her own and breaks out of the society norms of balls and gowns, and truly starts seeing and caring for people outside of her own little circle.
After a rough start, I really enjoyed the book, and hope to read the next in the series.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's the time of the week again, when those of us who didn't work the weekend are struggling out of bed (or not, if you're a morning person like me) and getting ready for another fabulously productive work week.

Last week, my reading list looked like this:
  1. A Lady's Plight by Katy Walters
  2. 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation  by Dan Andreasen and Maryn Roos
  3. Growing Up Big in God by Dick Wright
  4. Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith
  5. Fifty Years in Polygamy by Kristyn Decker
I haven't gotten #2 yet, though I expect it by Friday. The reviews are done for #1 and #3. Fifty Years is almost done, and will be reviewed this week as well.
So, this week I have:
  1. Fifty Years in Polygamy by Kristyn Decker (to finish)
  2. Sarai by Jill Eileen Smith
  3. Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith
  4. 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation by  Dan Andreasen and Maryn Roos
  5. Thrive by Mark Hall

Friday, March 14, 2014

REVIEW: C3 by Sherrie Cronin


c3 Synopsis:

c3Teddie’s life as a sixteen year old hasn’t always been easy, but nothing has prepared her for the unexpected dangers she encounters as an exchange student in Darjeeling. A frightening world in which young girls are bartered and sold stretches its icy fingers into the beautiful resort town and touches her friends one by one. Terrified, Teddie finds that her own mind develops a unique ability for locating her friends and that an ancient group of mind travelers is willing to train her to use her new skill to save these girls. It will require trust in ideas she barely believes, and more courage than has ever been expected of her. When it becomes clear that the alternative is her friends’ deaths and the unchecked growth of an evil crime lord’s empire, Teddie accepts the challenge and shows those guilty of unspeakable crimes just how powerful a young woman can be.

Purchase links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

RATING: 4 stars

REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was very well-written, though it did move a little slow for my tastes. The basic subject of the book was an emotionally rough one that many of us shy away from, namely the profits in the sex trade. This book hits some of the bigger facets, including the sexualization of female athletes, the inequality given to women, and the sex slave trade business that is dominant through the darker parts of our world, even the first world countries.The author put a spin on the story so that it wasn't as dark and horrible as it could have very well been, but didn't shy away from the deeper aspects of the subject. She definitely gets kudos for even approaching such a sensitive subject.
I enjoyed the characters, though my favorite had to have been Teddie. She was the one that really tugged on my empathy the most, and while I felt for Haley's situation, hers seemed almost too first-world-y for me to really empathize with.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

REVIEW: Savage Secrets by Cristin Harber

Savage Secrets Banner

CristinHarber_SavageSecrets_1400px Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer—and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle. Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control. Their mission—an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses—spins out of control. With Rocco's mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina's tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?

Amazon Buy Link

RATING: 4 stars

REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is the fourth book that I've read from Cristin Harber and they stay just as good as the first book! The storyline is exciting and pulls you in with the action from the very first page.There is tension, both from the action, and sexual from the two main characters towards one another. This helps fuel the storyline further and faster. When I read Cristin Harber's stuff, I know there will be plenty of explosions, both in bed and out.
I love the Titan men. They are well-written, alpha military-type men who are just so hot, and have so much testosterone, you can almost smell it coming off the pages. I love alpha men, but I hate when they are paired with weak, whiny women.Rocco has always been a favorite of mine, in the background.
Thank God the women who are the counterparts of the Titan men are just as bad-ass as their men! Caterina is definitely Rocco's equal, is not his saving grace at his times of weakness. It shows the softer side of Caterina that you may not see without those hallucinations of Rocco's.
Overall, this was an incredible book to read, and I can't wait to  read the next. It would be nice to see a thread of an enemy throughout the series, but without it, it makes it easier to read these books as a stand-alone and not be required to start from the beginning of the series.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

EXCERPT: Undeniable by Tawdra Kandle


At last. . .the sizzling spin-off from The King Series

UNDENIABLE: The Serendipity Duet Book One

coverFor Rafe Brooks, running from a broken heart means losing himself in alcohol and women. Lots of women, none of whom will remember him, since he has the ability to manipulate their minds and make them forget. Numbing the pain works until he meets an irresistible redhead with secrets of her own. She offers him the opportunity to join forces with an organization that will use his powers for good rather than his own amusement. Jocelyn rocks his world with her unapologetic passion and makes him believe for the first time he just might survive heartbreak. When a mission takes the two of them undercover to infiltrate a commune with suspicious activity, they discover it's just the tip of a plot to cause world-wide anarchy. Hiding their extraordinary powers and real identities is crucial to staying alive. For Rafe and Jocelyn, when life is uncertain, love is undeniable. Buy on: Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords


“Hey, stranger, want some company?”
I glanced up in surprise as Joss walked toward me. She had on one of my sweatshirts, and it hung on her shoulders, down to mid thigh, over her tight jeans. There was an expression in her eyes, a light and almost contentment as she looked at me. It was the total opposite of what I saw in Cara’s face.
“Hey, yourself. C’mere.” I held out my arms, and she slid onto my lap, melting into me like another piece of a puzzle I hadn’t quite figured out yet. I buried my face in her neck, breathed deep of the cinnamon and orange.
“You know you smell like potpourri, right?”
She tilted her head. “I do? Is that good?”
“It’s very good. I’ll never smell it again without getting turned on.”
She smiled, shaking her head. “Like I’ve said before, Rafe, turning you on isn’t the problem.”
“Not for you.” I shifted her so that I could get to her mouth and held her face between my palms as I kissed her, hoping that everything I felt could somehow flow into her, so she would know what I couldn’t make myself say.
She opened her mouth, licking the inside of my lips, meeting my tongue and making that small noise in the back of her throat that killed me every time. When I came up for air, she laid her head against my shoulder.
“You know, it’s really too cold to make out by the fire. I’m warm where I’m touching you, but my front is freezing.”
“Do you think it’s going to snow?” I squinted up at the sky. “It feels like snow, right?”
“Oh, my California and Florida boy.” She shook her head, smiling. “I don’t think it’s quite cold enough. It is damp, though. I guess there’s a chance of it.”
I rubbed her thigh, trailing my fingers up to her ass, kneading there. “Joss, where did you live before you came to Florida? Did you see snow?”
She nodded. “Yeah. I lived in New Jersey. Lots of snow there. And other not so much fun stuff, like sleet and frozen rain.” She shuddered.
“Hmmm.” I snuck my other hand up under the sweatshirt and felt warm, bare skin. “So you told me you don’t talk to any of your family anymore, since you...left. What about your sister?”
“No. I wish I could, but I lost touch with her before I left New Jersey. My parents disowned her. I’ve thought about trying to find her the last few years, but I guess I’m scared. What if she feels the same way they do now? I couldn’t stand that. I like to imagine that she’s married, happy, maybe with kids. That she thinks about me sometimes and smiles.”
I tightened my hold. “Joss...” I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, trying to work out the words. “I’ll be your family.” I brushed red curls from her eyes, captured them with mine, held strong. “I’ll be here for you, no matter what. I’ll be the one you can depend on. I’ll always have your back, I’ll always tell you the truth.”
I wanted to say it. I wanted to use the L word, to tell her how I was pretty sure I felt. But something held my tongue.
She searched my face, her eyes serious and huge. “Rafe, that is the best thing anyone has said to me, ever.” She traced my lips with the tip of her pointer finger, and then replaced it with her mouth, soft and full of promise.
“I’ll be here for you, always. No matter what. No one will be more important to me than you. I’ve never felt about anyone the way I feel about you.”
I pulled her into a deeper kiss, held her close and explored her skin under the shirt until she shivered.
“Let’s go back to our tent and keep warm,” she whispered into my ear.
I stood, lifting her into my arms as she gasped, and I carried her back to where our warm sleeping bags waited for us.
She kissed along my jaw and my neck as I walked, and I thought that I would walk with her like this forever.
There was so much more I wanted to tell her, so many words to say. But we had time. There was plenty of time for us.

About the Author

-2Tawdra Thompson Kandle lives in central Florida with her husband, children, cats and dog. She loves homeschooling, cooking, traveling and reading, not necessarily in that order. And yes, she has purple hair. You can follow Tawdra here…FacebookTwitterWebsite

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RELEASE DAY: Transcendent by Olivia Hardin

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"Olivia Hardin takes a character we hated in a previous book and somehow makes him a hero we love. That's no small feat. Transcendent captures perfectly the tension and temptation of falling in love in the midst of turmoil and intrigue. . .it's a story that will linger in your heart."

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"Olivia Hardin weaves a wonderfully emotional story of love, redemption, and political intrigue in Transcendent. Be prepared to transcend your own expectations."


Transcendent smallTo the Women on the Hill McKenna is a spy who sails the nightwind to keep close tabs on her people. In truth, McKenna is a double operative, an integral part of an underground rebellion. The Women are secretly bleeding the fae of their powers then banishing them to the Island Anethemusa; but the Dissenters, rebels who suffer under the crushing power of the Women, mean to put an end to their reign.

When McKenna happens upon a talking weasel, she knows she’s found the perfect envoy for her covert mission. Robin Weir’s punishment for a life of betrayal is to be stripped of his magic and exiled as an animal in a foreign realm. He’s used to dirty jobs and subterfuge so becoming McKenna’s errand boy should be a simple task.

But things heats up when Robin finds he has the power to shift into a man again. For McKenna the pet she’s invited into her home now wants nothing less than to possess her heart, body and soul. With the uprising at the ready, lives could be lost if McKenna can’t balance her separate identities of spy, rebel and lover.

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And don't miss the Facebook Party and Social Share Event March 10-14! Lots of prizes and fun to be had


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Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW: Growing Big in God by Dick Wright

TITLE: Growing Big in God
AUTHOR: Dick Wright
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: WestBow Publisher
PUBLISHED DATE: Aug 29, 2013
ISBN: 9781490805689
GENRE: Christian Nonfiction

RATING: 3 1/2 stars

SYNOPSIS: Growing Big in God is an easy-to-read guide for new believers who want to grow spiritually. Everything you need to know about growing big in the faith is laid out in clear and easy-to-understand language and examples. The entire process-from salvation to becoming a trustworthy and productive disciple of Jesus-is thoroughly explained, step-by-step. What's more, along the way, many puzzling questions are answered. You can learn what God does as well as what you are supposed to do. You can discover the things that you are to add to your faith and produce a lifestyle that positively impacts the world around you. Learn how to deal with and overcome trials and temptation, as well as what it means to really become new as God takes control of your heart and changes you from the inside out. This book seeks not only to lead the new believer to a greater understanding of God and His purposes and ways, but also to help more the mature believer become a powerful light in this dark world. Every believer, new or old, can benefit from this book. You can experience spiritual growth and a deeper relationship with God as you come to understand God's plan and purpose and how to live out the fullness of the Christian life.

REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from BookLook Bloggers Program.
I am very much on the fence about this book. Most of it was very helpful to me from a returning Christian point of view. A few things I found to be a little too elementary, however, I can see how it would be useful to a brand new Christian. I did find that my past Catholic upbringing did color my views on some subjects (especially contrary to the whole memorizing Bible verses part), so be wary of this. It doesn't detract from the book, however, I did notice it.
The version I received was an e-book copy of it, and so, it didn't not have the pictures and illustrations that many of the reviews speak so highly of. Perhaps this would have added to my experience. 
Overall, this was an enjoyable book, but some parts were a bit too elementary for me.