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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth

Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Released on: May 1st, 2012
525 Pages
Rating: 5/5

   Might I first start of with saying that I only regret the choices that Tris made in choosing her faction simply because they led to a harder life for her. I haven't led such an easy life myself. It saddened me to see her struggle at times, knowing if she would've only chose differently, things could've been so different. I am constantly reminded of this and can't help but wonder what could've happened if only she would've chose differently.
  With the way that Divergent ended, Tris still stands strong, knowing that the decisions she was left to make in Divergent weren't a choice, but in all reality, a matter of life or death. In Insurgent, things get far tougher, far beyond anything Tris could've imagined, yet she still has to stand strong. At times, yes I can admit that she was getting a bit too cocky for me. A bit too careless with herself? Ruthless? What I loved is that Four calls her out on this. Calls her down and lets her know what's going on. She isn't the only one dealing with the issues at hand and she has others to help her. She just needs to open up and let them.
  What Tris doesn't know is that the truth lies hidden in Erudite. It's what her mother was trying to go after. And it can be destroyed at any second. But if Tris can just find out what it is, she can unlock the truth about so much. She just has to get past Eric and the wicked Jeanine.

Purchased from Amazon

Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting to know: Author Eric Hendershot

Eric Hendershot is the author of the newly published AT SEASON'S END. He is here today to share some info about his life, his most recent release, and what's coming up next.

I was born in Taylor Pennsylvania but call Towanda Penna. my home - we moved there when I was in 5th grade and that is where I graduated from high school. I was on the varsity wrestling and track teams. Later went to a Junior college and wrestled. 
I met a beautiful blonde named Dickilyn from Oakland, California (she was a pom pom girl)  and we have been married for 41 years. 
I graduated from BYU and got a job teaching at a large high school in Salt Lake City. I will never forget my first paycheck as a teacher  - eight hundred dollars and some change. I was devastated to say the least. I had to do something else to support my family. I was a story teller so we decided to pursue writing movie scripts. My wife bought me a used Adler typewriter and a card table. We would put the kids to bed, turn off the TV and I would start plunking away. I optioned a few scripts then finally struck gold - Gloria Monty - "Queen of Daytime television" (Ex. Prod. of The Secret Storm and General Hospital) loved a script that I had written caller "The Impostor."  To make a long story short it was made into an ABC Movie of the Week that played nationally. I made more money on that project then I did in a year of teaching and coaching. We decided to leave teaching a pursue writing full time. That was 26 screenplays ago. In the film business the writer is the first hired and the first fired. So instead of waiting by the phone and hoping somebody liked one of my scripts I decided raise some money and direct one of my scripts. I raised a million dollars and did a film called CLUBHOUSE DETECTIVES. That was 13 feature length films ago. I raised my family making films. 
My first novel was a YA book called Jimmy Stillman I will Always Love You. It takes place in my home town of Towanda and on the Susquehanna River that runs through town. What a thrill to get a book published and see it in bookstores.
AT SEASONS END  was originally titled - SIDE BY SIDE but the publisher liked  ASE better. To learn more about the origins of the book the reader needs to read the Author's note at the beginning of the book. 

I have another book coming out in October -  A HORSE FOR CHRISTMAS - it is a tale of three kids who steal a ride in the back of their big brother's jeep Cherokee to go to Nevada and wrangle their very own wild mustangs. It is quite an adventure. I think young readers are going to love it.

I presently live in Springville, Utah. We bought a little brick cottage which we gutted and remodeled. I opened the attic and created a little writing nook. I have a little window that lets in the light and a view of the Rocky Mountains. For me it is the perfect place to write. Sure beats writing in the walk-in closet on the old manual Adler.

I have always loved good literature. I remember reading the Scarlet Letter in high school and not wanting to put it down. I love anything inspirational that stirs my soul and motivates me to be a better person.

Winners of...

I have been on vacation and trying to get back into the groove of things since being back. Meanwhile, let's not forget to mention that my laptop had the hard drive go out and so I am making fewer posts and it hasn't been easy. With all that jazz, I have several winners to announce.

Blank Slate by Heather Justesen goes to: Stephanie Atwood

Destined by Aprilynne Pike goes to: Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

Partials by Dan Wells goes to: Jayjay Antanacio

Insurgent by Veronica Roth goes to: Michelle @ Book Briefs

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid goes to: Christina Kit.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Dark Companion
by Marta Acosta

Published by: TorTeen
Released on: July 3rd, 2012
364 Pages
Rating: 5/5

  Huge and amazing praise for Dark Companion and Marta Acosta! What else can I possibly say to get you to understand the huge talent that this book holds? I loved this one to its roots, as you discover hidden secrets, plots, and true desires. I loved that the synopsis only gives you a mere glimpse into all that Dark Companion holds. I never expected such a powerful turn of events.
  Jane has never had it easy. Growing up in multiple foster homes and never properly cared for or loved, she only has a few people to call her true friends. They are everything to her and are there for her when she needs them. Some of them even have her back when she never expects it. That's what good friends are for, but that's not what this story is about.
  Jane receives a chance of a lifetime. All of her studying and hard work are going to pay off for her. She has been given a scholarship to enter into one of the most elite schools. She might not be ready for ivy league, but they want her anyway.
  Strangely, everyone greets her with open arms. It's as if they are all a big family themselves. I had huge compassion for Jane and loved it even more to see the headmistress of Birch Grove take charge and treat her just like family. Mrs. Radcliffe even has her two sons welcome her and they both end up  liking her just as much as everyone else. Jack, Mrs. Radcliffe's oddball son seems to have a rather odd fascination with Jane and is always around. Luckily this comes in handy more than once. Accidents do happen, but that's not what we're here for. The true reason why Jane was picked to come to Birch Grove is hidden well within the walls and will be coming out soon enough. Just be ready. I know I never seen it coming and highly recommend to all!

Received for review purposes from the publisher.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: MAXIMUM RIDE The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Maximum Ride
The Angel Experiment
By James Patterson
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Released on: April 1st, 2007
422 Pages
Rating: 3/5

    I must admit, James Patterson gets a well round of applause on filling this book with high anticipation and major action. With that being said, I just couldn't get into it as much as I would've liked. Patterson has written a series that does seem hugely interesting, as you meet all of the family members that now live outside of the horrendous school they were once held captive in. Going along the Maximum Ride journey, you will eventually meet all of the characters individually which I love. The problem I had was that there was a little too much action. I love to see my characters at their best, at their worst, and everywhere in between. I felt like there was not a calm moment and I just wanted to see the characters a little more relaxed.

  We first get to meet Max. She is very compassionate about her younger siblings and guards them as if she is their mother. She would do anything for them, as long as they never return to that school. It's just plain cruel to implant aviary genes into a human mother, only to experiment with the outcome. Even if the outcome is a human. The majority of their DNA is human, with just a touch of bird-like features. That little bit is enough to keep them on the run forever. Max's family can never settle down and get too comfortable. Erasers are always on the lookout. Big, fur-like creatures that resemble werewolves if they choose to. Who couldn't be frightened by something like that?

Received for review purposes from the publisher.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Tour & Author Interview w/ Denesha Sheree

Thank you for stopping by the Blog Tour featuring author Denesha Sheree. Denesha is the author of The Yellow Clutch Society and I have had the priveledge to interview her.

1.) Can you share with us a little about yourself? I am a Detroit native with a Military Brat background. I am pretty much a day dreamer so my head is always in the clouds with new writing ideas.

2.) Favorite scary movie and favorite cartoon? Believe it or not, I have no favorite scary movie. (Laughing). There are no real scary movies like the one from when I was growing up, that’s for sure. My favorite cartoon at my age is Sponge Bob (laughing) I’m sure there’s lot of folks that can agree.

3.) How did you come up with the title? Well, I knew it would be something society, then the word yellow stuck out at me. At the time I was jotting some ideas down while looking at a Judith Leiber Clutch, so I put it all together and there you have it, a society of upper class, powerful and prestigious women with a secret that shocks the world.

4.) How did you first start writing? I always wrote in journals but when I was in my creative writing class, we were put into groups and we had to exchange papers. One of my group members read the paper and advised my teacher to read a bit out loud. As he began to read, the lecture hall grew quiet. I looked around to see everyone attentive. Hell, I was even attentive, because I couldn’t believe I wrote something so vivid that you could picture yourself sitting there. After class, the professor asked me to have it published. I kind of blew him off, but from that day forth I knew I was in love with writing.

5.) Growing up, what books do you remember reading? I actually loved the Nancy Drew (Hardy Boy’s) Series (Laughing). When I became a pre-teen, I started sneaking my mother’s Stephen Kings Book’s. I also started reading a little of Daniel Steel and Nora Roberts.

6.) Any other books in the works? Future projects? My next project will be a tale of two Novellas that will include Damon’s Die-nasty/Mirror’s Mirror. Now this will be followed by a Novella called "Ring Burial". Author Stephanie Norris and I, will also be working on a Novella called "wife Swap, so I am excited about that.

7.)What inspired you to write The Yellow Clutch Society? The inspiration for writing "The Yellow Clutch Society" came to me so fast that I can’t particularly say anything inspired me to write this one. I just knew at the last sentence of writing it, that it would jump start my career as a writer and that my style of writing was going to be super different.
What drives you towards your ambitions? Anything in particular? While fame or Money drives some people toward their ambitions, finding my purpose in life drives mine.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is on Vacation

Hello lovelies! I just wanted to let you know the reason you might find my blog a complete ghost town this coming week. I'll be on vacation from Sunday all through to next weekend. No internet, emails, or any blogging for me. Yes, I'll get to sneak in some reading here and there. (Luckily, to keep me sane) and I hope you'll miss me as much as I'll miss you!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blog Tour: Trouble in Paradise featuring an interview w/ Stephanie Norris

Today you have arrived on the tour for Trouble in Paradise Blog Tour. Trouble in Paradise is written by Stephanie Norris. Stephanie currently lives in Altanta Georgia but is originally from Chattanooga Tennessee. She doesn't have any kids, but is in a loving relationship and just turned 30 in January. I have had the pleasure to interview her, so let's get started!

1.)What drives you towards your ambitions? Anything in particular? I know I have good stories to tell and my reader’s keep me pumped up and ready to get them the next great read.

2.) What inspired you to write Trouble In Paradise?  I had a love story that I’d been thinking about for a while and it was starting to drive me crazy.  I was able to see it like a movie in my head and it often kept me up at night.  When the idea came to me to write the story it was the best idea I could think of to get this story out.

3.) How did you come up with the title? Paradise Condominiums is the suburban area Victoria and Joshua move to when they get to Chicago.  That is where Danielle brings them more drama so naturally Trouble In Paradise was born.

4.) Was there anything you wish you had added or could change to Trouble In Paradise? Nope! I love the book the way it is.  The things I wanted to take out I did take out, there was a lot more to the story then what’s currently written but it turned out better that way.

5.) How did you first start writing? When I put my mind to it, I picked up a ink pen and got my notebook out my mom bought me for a present and started writing this story.  I ended up having to transfer everything over to the computer of course.

6.) What inspires you? My reader’s, my family, my friends, my comrades.

7.) What was your favorite part of the book? Danielle taking hostages J

8.) Growing up, what books do you remember reading? Growing up I read books by R. L. Stine not the Goosebumps series but the teen thrillers he wrote.  I loved those books.

9.) Any other books in the works? Future projects? Trouble In Paradise is available now on Amazon Kindle.  Paperback coming soon.  Vengeful Intentions Part II of Trouble In Paradise release date has been push to July 30, 2012.  I’m also looking forward to working with Denesha Sheree in a future novella titled Wife Swap.

Vengeful Intentions

Part II of Trouble In Paradise Blurb

After serving eight long months in jail and becoming obsessed with the woman who put her there Danielle Shumaker is released when the evidence held against her comes up missing.  With Victoria clouding her mind with thoughts of revenge Danielle is caught off guard when someone else wants to make her pay for her past transgressions.

Not needing the added drama Victoria is still torn between her feelings toward Greg and her undying love for Joshua.  With new knowledge that Danielle has been released from jail; Victoria is stunned into disbelief knowing that Joshua has not been honest with her.

Things heat up when Joshua catches wind of Victoria’s affair and Caroline wants her husband back by any means necessary.  Will this love story end in tragedy or will these couples learn to forgive and forget? Find out in part II of Trouble In Paradise.

Add Trouble in Paradise to Goodreads

~Love Is A Drug Ink~ Release date has been push to July 30,, 2012
Available in all Ebook formats ~ Available in Paperback at
Find Stephanie on Facebook
Follow Stephanie on Twitter at @stephanienrrs1 and @dramaticromance
Follow Stephanie's blog for a chance to win part II!
Stephanie Nicole Norris is a new up and coming romance fiction author from Chattanooga Tennessee with a humble beginning.  She was raised along with six siblings by her mother, Jessica Ward.  Always being a lover of reading from early childhood Stephanie loved to read books by R.L. Stine, fantasy, and supernatural.  Stephanie always had a natural talent for writing and website design.  Starting her journey with writing in 2010 she decided to bring her stories to life.  In 2011 her Debut Novel "Trouble In Paradise" was completed and shortly published in early 2012.  A romance drama about a 28 year old African American female trying to better herself with an internship and marrying the love of her life, but runs into road blocks and things get so out of control that there are major changes for her future.  Her pages tell a story with deception, suspense, and a dramatic twist. Stephanie is inspired by writers like Eric Jerome Dickey, Jackie Collins, Gwynne Forster, and more.  She resides in Atlanta GA.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dark Days Tour Recap and Giveaway(s)

I must say, Monday night I had such a fabulous time! Veronica Roth, (very lovable) Aprilynne Pike, (which is a huge comedian) S.J. Kincaid, (big sweetheart) and Dan Wells (quite the entertainer) were all there. I was amazed by how down to earth and real they all were. I just loved how they interacted with each other and open to everyone they were. I felt like St. Louis had quite a great turn out and got to meet a bunch of great people there and even met a couple more after it was over.

All of the authors brought great discussions to the table. I was also surprised by how much I had in common with some of them.

And to hear how some of their ideas and storylines came about? I totally never would've guessed!

Harper Collins has been generous enough to kindly let me host a giveaway for all of these wonderful authors and their books!
I have debated with the idea to do one big giveaway or split them up and decided to have four winners.

So, I have for you,

The Giveaway Rules:
Open to 13+
Only one entry per person (per book)
Winners must respond within 48 hours
Ends July 21st

Enter HERE for INSIGNIA by S.J. Kincaid

Enter HERE for INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Enter HERE for DESTINED by Aprilynne Pike

Enter HERE for PARTIALS by Dan Wells


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Scary School: Monsters on the March

Scary School: Monsters on the March
By Derek the Ghost (Derek Taylor Kent)

Published by: Harper Collins
Released on: June 26th, 2012
256 Pages
Rating: 4/5

  A most fabulous, hilarious, and fun filled read! The second in this amazing and addictive series, Derek the Ghost leads you on yet another journey through the first semester at Scary School. This time around, we get to meet more delightfully creepy characters that are fascinatingly haunting and truthfully, I'm really not too sure I would actually want to meet, including a big, hairy tarantula. (UGH) With greatly detailed illustrations, it helps to add to your own imagination as the entire school now has to battle evil pirates all because of a toad Princess named Zogette and her love for Charles Nukid and his un-love for her. We also get to touch base with some of the characters that we fell in love with in the first novel. Penny Possum even braves the nerve to stand bold and speak a word or two to save a great friend from evil-doers. It doesn't go unnoticed how great the school, children, and teachers can come together and fight for what they believe in. I definitely recommend adding this one to your shelves!

Received from the author for review.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Official THE FORSAKEN Trailer by Lisa M.Stasse

Today is the release of THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse. I'm a tad slow on the release of the trailer, as I was a bit busy yesterday, but I still wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy and pick up a copy ASAP!

Blog Tour: Carnival Girl Featuring an Interview w/ Sonja Herbert

I am pleased to be a part of the Carnival Girl tour. Released on June 12, 2012 by Cedar Fort. I have also had the pleasure to interview author Sonja Herbet.

Sonja Herbert and her five siblings were raised in a caravan, traveling the carnival circuit from town to town in post-WWII Germany.

Sonja converted to the LDS Church, served a mission, married an American soldier, and immigrated to the USA. She received a BA at SUU in Cedar City, and an MA in Language Acquisition from Brigham Young University, taught high school, German, and ESL for many years, and is now a full time writer. A mother of six and grandmother of thirteen, she resides in Provo, Utah. Contact her at,, or

1.) If you could teach someone only one thing today, what would it be? Forgive. Forgive others if they slighted you and remember everybody’s background is different. You might just make a new friend!

2.) Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Besides writing I love to knit and crochet. In the early winters I go on a knitting frenzy, making small presents for my kids and grandkids.

3.) What are you currently reading? I always have a Chicken Soup for the Soul book I’m reading. The one now is New Year’s Resolutions. I have a story in it, too. The other book I’m presently reading is Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich. It’s way funny. Wish I could write like that!
4.) How would you describe CARNIVAL GIRL in three words? God Loves Me!

5.) Do you have any advice for struggling youth? Yes. Never give up. Good things will come your way if you just follow your dream and don’t get discouraged.

6.) What is something that people don't know about you? I don’t talk about it much, but my third child died at birth. It did something to me, and after that I made some decisions I shouldn’t have made.

7.) Do you, or have you had anyone that you've looked up to, now or in the past? When I was young, it was the missionaries. I wanted to be like them, and I did. When I was twenty-one, I also went on a mission. Later, it was my mother-in-law. She showed me that others can be loving and supportive of you, even if they don’t agree with you.

8.) Favorite author? My favorite author ever is Jane Austen!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Obumbrate by Alivia Anders

by Alivia Anders

Published by: Self Publishing
Released on: July 7th, 2012
292 Pages
Rating: 4/5

  Leaving off where Illumine ended, with such tragic events that Essalie had to endure, I am amazed by how she has such a strong will and seemingly never ending faith that obviously helped her get through the loss she suffered in Illumine. In Obumbrate, things still haven't yet slowed down for Essalie, and she powers through every obstacle thrown her way. It's obvious that Anders has a great passion for writing with the power withheld in Obumbrate. She has created a character that you can't help but fall in love with and feel so emotionally for.
  Essalie has remained so unbelievably strong throughout everything, but when she learns that her life is dwindling away far faster than expected, she finally let's everything catch up to her. I can't say I blame her, and to know something that is inevitable is going to happen far sooner than realized, it leaves you full of sadness, depression and great sorrow.
  Luckily, an idea forms that not everyone will like, and her friends will try to stop. But hey, if she's going to die soon, why not take a wicked queen down with her? Right?! It's when she learns that the Queen knows far more about her and all of the mysteries about her life and powers that might stop her plans dead in their tracks.

Received for review from the author.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dark Days Tour in St. Louis, July 9th

Pitch Dark: Dark Days Tour is coming to St. Louis tomorrow (July 9th) and is being held by Left Bank Books. The event will take place not at the bookstore, but just down the street at The Ethical Society of St. Louis. The address is
9001 Clayton Rd. and will be starting at 7PM.
If you need further information, feel free to contact Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731.

We will have the pleasure of meeting:

  S.J. Kincaid, author of Insignia
    Dan Wells, author of Partials 
  Aprilynne Pike, author of Destined
  Veronica Roth, author of Insurgent

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mail Confessions (5)

It's been some time since I've shared my mail deliveries with you so I'm a bit backed up. I also want to give a huge thank you to Derek Kent, Tor, Random House, and Harper Collins for my mailbox fillings.

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Endlessly by Kiersten White
Glass Heart by Amy Garvey

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells

by Dan Wells

Published by: Balzer + Bray
Released on: February 28th, 2012
480 Pages
Rating: 4/5

   Living in a time where, due to the extreme circumstances left from the aftermath of a massive war with the Partials, a rare and seemingly untraceable virus has crept it's way into the lives of everyone, killing the human race. Slowly over time, not only are the elders dying, but this virus that cannot be tracked or cured is killing the babies within a matter of days after being born.
   To fathom a world with no babies, no young running around is so hard to grasp. So many times I find myself in an aggravated mood, only to be lifted up by the good graces of children. To have the smallest child be that of fourteen is just mind struggling. Dan Wells has created a very complex, advanced, and mind-blowing novel that leaves you praying for hope for future success in saving those babies.

   Kira has already been working in the maternity ward, so she knows first hand how hard it is to see these babies born, grow sick, and die due to the RM virus. She is growing closer to the age where she will end up having to get pregnant too. The government has figured if they keep all women ages eighteen and up, pregnant on a regular basis, eventually some of them will live. Kira is seeing through the cracks on this study and doesn't just want to become another statistic. I can't blame her. To live a life and have numerous babies, only to give them away for dead is just heartbreaking and that is exactly what is happening right now.
  Kira wants a new approach. She will get it whether others want to cooperate or not. Headstrong and courageous, she sets out to do the unthinkable. She sets out to capture the enemy they went to war with. The same enemy that the government thinks left them with the RM virus. With amazing friends to help her along the way, some fabulous research on her part, quite a bit of quick thinking, and a very unexpected friend, this might help get Kira and the babies closer to survival.

Purchased from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking

by Amanda Hocking

Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released on: February 28th, 2012
324 Pages
Rating: 2/5

  I fell deeply in love with Switched and looked forward to diving into Torn. I didn't quite find what I was looking for once I settled into the pages of Wendy's story and her journey as she dealt with her new life as she learned the truth about her real family and her heritage.
  I knew that Wendy didn't fit well with her mother, the Queen. So when Wendy happened to meet  her father, the King, who happened to actually be alive and well and who had been fighting to get to her while she was in her mother's possession, I was ecstatic. The King and his wife were kind and I am a daddy's girl so I was so into this. Wendy didn't care for the Queen, I was totally anticipating a change or at least a big chance for her to hear him out. And it never even happened. I was seriously disappointed. I can't seem to wrap my head around why Wendy would believe and trust a mother who has already betrayed her, lied to her and that she doesn't even like. I was left very confused by all of this because it just didn't make sense to me. Wendy seemed like such a wise girl. The Queen did justify her lies, but that still didn't validate it in my book. In the end, roots were created, making sure her mother locked her in place.

Purchased at Amazon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Giveaway: Blank Slate by Heather Justesen

I joined a blog tour for Blank Slate a little over a year ago. I enjoyed the book but I am now ready to pass it on. The copy is signed to me. If you don't mind this, feel free to enter for the giveaway.

US Only
Ages 13 and up
Ends July 12th
Enter Here