Monday, December 31, 2012

YEAR’S END REFLECTION


So a lot of things have happened in this past year.  We have re-elected President Obama for another 4 years, we had the summer Olympics in London (and every Doctor Who fan might have felt like a time paradox was occurring since David Tennant did not appear to carry the torch, but Matt Smith did :/), the world was suppose to end... but didn't, and on a whole, I like to think, it has been a good year. 

So let’s take a look back at what has happened at Place of Reads.

  • We reached our 1 year anniversary!
  • 200+ Twitter followers, 100+ Goodreads followers, 50+ Facebook followers and 250+ blog followers!
  • Cana has read a total of 108 books for 2012 (give or take those I want to admit to reading or not).
  • Kim has read a total of 60 books for 2012.
  • We had a new blogger join us here at Place of Reads: Kimberly.
  •  Rated 90 books as 4 star or higher.
  • Place of Reads hosted 50 blog tours over the past year. 


So what are we looking forward to at the Place of Reads in 2013?

  • Cana plans to read 125 books before the end of 2013.
  • Kim plans to read 100 books before the end of 2013.
  • Hoping to add some other bloggers to the mix.
  • Hoping to reach 300+ twitter followers, 150+ Goodreads followers, 100+ Facebook followers, and 350+ blog followers!
  • We hope to host 100 blog tours for 2013.


So here is hoping that all our followers have a wonderful, happy, safe, and blessed New Year. 

Happy Reading,

Cana & Kimberly

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Commencement by Paige Cucaro



Description:

Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…

Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives. 

Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning



My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


From the very first chapter, I was hooked!  I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed Emma Jane!

So as prequels go, this one is a quick and cute novella.  In less than 50 pages, you get a good intro and the perfect set up for Hellsbane.

Mihir:

Great little guy.  Extremely smart, highly superstious thanks to his grandmother, and just a well-rounded, normal, horny teenage guy. 
I think he gave great advice about the jinn and the other supernatural things.  This really made me want to see more of Mihir.

Emma Jane:

She still kicks ass, even not knowing about her heritage.  She trusts her instincts and because of that she is able to save her campus from the jinn. 
I love seeing her skeptisiscm about religion and the supernatural, even though she herself is telepathic. 

Justin:

Such a huge ass, and I honestly have no issue with what happened to him.  I really think he had it coming.  Actually, if there was a worse punishment he probably could have used it.  Stupid, greedy, horny man. 

Overall, this is a great novella, and I’m counting down the days to the next book:  Heaven and Hellsbane.  Highly recommend this book!


Happy Reading!

Cana

Friday, December 28, 2012

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren


Description:

The Beast

Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.

The Beauty

Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.

Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?

My Review:


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


So I love the story of Beauty and the Beast.  So any version or any spin is something that I’ll read.  And this one only disappointed me because it ended!  This is just one great story!

This story is set in Texas, which is something that I like.  And in the town of Austin, there is an underground society that has been around since the 1800’s, a secret society that is trying to run the world, and a burlesque that is run by a drag Queen.  Throw in some steampunk elements, an “unexpected” romance, a bit of mystery and a good hearted &  wounded vet, and you have the recipe for a great story. 

Characters:
Jolie is an unexpected character to be “Beauty”.  A burlesque dancer, an heiress, and a potential spy… She is not your grandmother’s beauty, that is for sure.  But I still like her.  She seems open and honest, looking to better people’s lives and looking beyond circumstances.  I like that she isn’t your typical heiress, she almost seems “normal”.

Hauk is our “beast”.  He is horribly scarred on the outside, a sweet and sexy man on the inside with gifted fingers and a wicked tongue.  He is a vet who has blackouts that seem to be created by something supernatural.  I couldn’t help but love this wounded man.  He is afraid of getting rejected, but still puts himself out there.  (I also liked how the author used something uncontrollable like a fire in a war zone to “create” the beast… definitely better than being a selfish ass!).

Other Characters of note:

Catrina is a hoot!  Nothing like a drag queen to spice things up.  PLUS, I loved Jolie’s dilemma on the “he” or “she”, especially when Catrina was dressed as Carl. 

Whitney was a great character.  Nothing like a teenager (and a smart and sarcastic one at that) to put everything into perspective. 

Other great things in this book:

I thought there was some great uses of mythology.  There was Greek & Norse, with some mentions of Celtic in passing.  Since I haven’t read a lot of books with Norse mythology, it was a refreshing change.

I enjoyed what little bits of Underlight that I got to see/read about.  Would love to see more than primarily Hauk’s bedroom ;)

Overall, this is a great little book, and I’m looking forward to the next one.  I highly recommend this book!


Happy Reading!

Cana

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Princess Avenger by Bernadette Rowley


Description:

Passionate and headstrong, Alecia is no ordinary princess. Angered by the cold-blooded murder of her first love, she sets out to avenge his death.

Army Captain Vard Anton, the epitome of masculine strength and grace, is dealing with some dark secrets of his own. When he is appointed Alecia's body-guard, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. 

With assassination attempts and the threat of an arranged marriage looming over her, Alecia realises her time is running out. But Alecia's biggest battle is the one within as she tries to suppress the raging desire she feels for the powerfully attractive Vard. Can Alecia resist Vard while trying to exact revenge and avoiding the lecherous attentions of her husband-to-be? Will the power of love and desire be enough to unite Alecia and Vard forever? 

Though separated by class and palace intrigues, Alecia and Vard are entwined by desire in this wonderful fantasy romance.



My Review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This novel is a great!  It has adventure, it has romance, and there is intrigue.  It was such a  good story, with enough left open, you could so see another book or two coming out.

Alecia is a relatively strong character, though she seemed to have a lot of crazy moments.  She is a bit flip-floppy as well.  The way she can’t seem to decide whether she liked Vard or not is almost as flip-floppy as some political candidates. 

I did like how she wanted to revenger her first love, and also how she tried to help her people.  But the fact that she was so blind to the true source of all the issues in her home and the village was a bit irrigating. 

Vard was not what I was expecting.  Actually, he was not what he was.  And even with that, even with hints, it took several chapters to actually get an explanation what he was.  Actually, it was almost to the end of the book before you get the true explanation. 

He is still a cool character.  As a defender, a warrior, a lover, and a devoted protector… He is like a knight in furry armor for any woman who wanted a good guy with a bad streak in him. 

Hetty didn’t show up often, but she knows things, and makes things happen.  Actually, I think she knows more than she is letting on. 

I did find the flow of the novel a bit off.  Sometimes it was really good, and other times, it was easier to skip paragraphs and pages.  Also, there was definitely a formatting issue for e-readers.  It was hard to decipher when there was a change in the chapter or POV… The only real labeled division in the book was the chapter (so other than the chapter labels, you were guessing at divisions.).  Actually, I think that is one of the reasons for the poor flow. 

Overall, this is a good book.  I recommend it for an easy quick read.  


Happy Reading!

Cana

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas 
to you and all your family!

From all of here at Place of Reads Book Blog!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

And The Winners Are....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Daphne Fox won a E-book Copy of The Mine by John Heldt
Lauri Crumley Coates won an E-book copy of The Journey by John Heldt
Kimberly Faith Loeper won an E-book copy of Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton
Erin Danzer won an E-book copy of Blood and Guitars by Heather Jenson
Brandy D. Graves won a copy of Ascent of Blood by Elizabeth Marx
Beth Cutwright won a copy of The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice
Aimee G won a copy of The Selection by Kiera Cass
Audrey Pearson won an E-book copy of The Scavengers by Mike Parker
Katie Ward won an E-book copy of The Scavengers by Mike Parker
Kirsten Wood won an E-book copy of The Scavengers by Mike Parker
Docker won an E-book copy of The Scavengers by Mike Parker
Lil Berry won an E-book copy of The Scavengers by Mike Parker

You have 72 hours to contact me in order to receive your prize.  If contact is not made, I will pick new winners.  


Happy Reading!

Cana

Friday, December 21, 2012

IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD... Well, Maybe :/ And Follow Friday

On The Follow Friday Front:


Q: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?


A:  So much!  I would have to make 6 or 7 post about what I've learned.  But the most important thing I think I've learned about the publishing industry is that if you are determined enough, and enough people interested anyone can publish a book. 


On The End of the World Front:

So today is supposedly the end of the world.  And it still might, as today won't end until Midnight.  

So why not do something special today. Spend time with those you love.  Read a good book.  Take a nap.  Because unlike the Mayan calendar, we might not know when the end might happen.

And as a reminder, today is the last day of our giveaway!  So, give it a shot, and see if you win one of our cool prizes?

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Happy Reading!

Cana

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bewitching Book Tour: Release Day Blitz Cursed by Lynn Ricci




Description:

The story takes place over the Christmas holiday… it involves a witch . . . and other surprises…

When Sarah Carter moves to Boston to escape her past she realizes there's more than meets the eye with the landlord and her mysterious new best friend.

What happened to the owner of this Boston brownstone and what secrets lie within its walls and continue to torment?

And is she actually running back to her past instead of from it?





Excerpt:

Staring out of the small dormered window, he could just see the corner of the street. Leaves on the trees lining the sidewalk were moving past their prime of orange and red and turning brown as autumn made its way through Boston. The ones still clinging to the trees blocked part of his view. Absentmindedly he pulled his pocket watch out of his pants and checked the time although he instinctively knew it was still early. Purposely, he had chosen this spot to watch the street for a sign. He didn’t want to miss a thing.
Mrs. Casey was nearly three stories below waiting on the sidewalk next to her white BMW. He gazed down at the plump woman in her camel jacket and brown plaid scarf. She had just arrived and was on her mobile phone, trusty bag over her shoulder. As he watched from above, he wondered if he might keep her for a while. She had proven to be discreet and respectful in their dealings thus far –always keeping her eyes conveniently averted. That was a big plus in his book.

The sky had been bright blue and clear all morning but now the sunlight dimmed and small gusts of wind kicked up from time to time, stirring up the brittle leaves, scratching at the sidewalk and causing drifts against the wrought iron fence. He would go out and clean up the two small patches of grass in front of the building later, when it got dark. After all these years, he was comfortable working outside after nightfall.

A flicker of yellow caught his eye as a taxi turned from Columbus Avenue onto Dunhill – a small side street in Boston’s South End, lined with fashionable brownstones. He straightened his bent frame as best he could and intently watched the cab's approach, completely absorbed in his surroundings and on high alert. Below, Mrs. Casey tucked her phone away and pulled her coat closed. Is it getting colder, he thought, touching the glass pane in front of him, the chill spreading through his fingertips.

The yellow checker taxi glided to a stop in front of the building and a young woman with ash blonde hair stepped out but held the door and leaned back in. His heart clenched as if it had been submerged in cold water and he grasped the windowsill to steady himself. From his vantage point, he could see the cabbie handing her some bills. She closed the car door and turned to Mrs. Casey, shaking hands. He wished he could hear the conversation, but knew that it would be pleasantries and then the expected basics.

Both women squinted up towards the window and he faded back as quickly as possible. He was sure he was a moment too late, but what did it really matter? He snuck another quick look and relaxed, realizing Mrs. Casey was pointing out items on the ground level – most likely the security system, or flower boxes. But as he continued to watch he finally saw it: the sign he had been waiting for.

Small gusts that had been making the crunchy, dry leaves rise and dance with their still colorful counterparts whipped up again a few buildings further along the street and came towards the women like a mounting wave. The leaves blew up waist high, swirling and twirling onto themselves until the force reached the women and spun around them in a leaf tornado. Mrs. Casey stepped back towards her BMW parked at the curb to get out of the maelstrom and the leaves continued, picking up energy and speed; surrounding the flaxen-haired woman, lifting and tossing her long hair like a Medusa at the center of the funnel. In reaction to the onslaught, the young woman covered her head with her arms and ran up the front walk toward the building to get out of its path. The wind disappeared and the leaves fell to the ground on the sidewalk as quickly as it had started. Overhead the sky was once again blue.

She’s here, he thought.

The leaves settled gently on the sidewalk. Sarah laughed, removing a few dry leaves that had snagged on her scarf and sweater.

“My goodness! It’s getting blustery!” Mrs. Casey exclaimed as she hurried across the brick sidewalk to the open gate that Sarah ran through, moments before. “Are you ok, dear?”

“I’m fine, really.” Sarah said almost to herself while smoothing her hair. “Just a little wind.”

“Well, dear, if it was any more wind it would have swept you away to Oz.” Sarah heard the deep Boston accent in the woman’s voice and felt immediately comfortable with the realtor. The cadence was almost like she was listening to her maternal grandmother, Rose. Growing up in Connecticut, her grandmother's Boston accent was fodder for jokes, but she always associated the distinctive pronunciations with happy childhood memories. Sarah waited as Mrs. Casey reached into her oversized bag and easily pulled out a business card.

“Thank you, Mrs. Casey,” Sarah said as she examined the card. “I’m so glad you were able to meet me on short notice.” Sarah stood on the bottom step and waited as Mrs. Casey dug paperwork out of her briefcase. Glancing around the small front enclosure she wasn’t sure was big enough to qualify as a yard, she noticed the black wrought iron flower boxes mounted below the bay windows, full of deep russet, red, and burnt orange mums. Mrs. Casey finished pulling out the listing sheet and noticed where Sarah was looking.

“The flowers are lovely, aren’t they? You should see this place in the summer! I don’t know how he does it. No one ever sees him working in the garden but it’s always immaculate.” She leaned over and pointed to the side of the building indicating she actually meant around the corner. “Over there are the rose bushes. This is actually one of the few brownstones that has a little side yard since the alley cuts through there.”

Sarah looked at the old-world cobblestone alley. Mrs. Casey continued her garden tour, “Not big enough to do much with, but he keeps pink roses in the summer all along those wooden trellises.”

“It’s very nice. You can tell the property is well kept; it’s wonderful that he cares so much for the landscaping.”

“Everything is kept well. This was a grand house in her day.” Mrs. Casey stressed the last sentence as she looked lovingly up to the front door. The realtor continued with a tone of letting Sarah in on a fact already well known in certain social circles, “This is one of the prime rental properties in the South End, dear.”

Mrs. Casey started to climb the front steps slowly. Sarah wondered if it was her age that slowed her down but this seemed different, almost hesitant. As if on cue, the woman turned and looked down at Sarah, two steps below. She put one hand on the railing to steady herself before speaking.

“Before we go in, I must tell you something. We will be meeting with the owner in a few minutes. He’s very particular about his renters since he lives on the first floor.”

Sarah started to say she would make a good impression but the woman laid her gloved hand on her arm to quiet her.

“There’s more.” Mrs. Casey looked down at her feet in discomfort with what she was about to say. “He had an accident . . . of some sort. I am not sure exactly what happened but he is disfigured and very, very self-conscious.” Her eyes darted back to Sarah’s and locked. “Don’t act like you pity him. Don’t ask any questions about it. And, whatever you do, don’t look straight at him.”

“Is it that bad?”

“I really don’t know the extent of it. He tries to cover as much he can and I pretend like nothing is wrong. But it’s bad. I always keep myself busy and interested in looking at something else.”

“I will avoid looking at him. Promise.”

“I’ve lost some good tenants by them being too interested in him. He’s a proud man. He has done a lot of beautiful work; everything in this home has been lovingly maintained. The whole building possesses a charm you just don’t see anymore.”

Mrs. Casey searched Sarah’s face, making sure all this had settled in.

“Ready, dear?”

“Ready.”


Author:

Lynn Ricci was born and raised in the Greater Boston area. Her professional background is in financial communications and she pursues her artistic endeavors of writing and painting while enjoying an active family life with her two children and dog, Fenway.

A writer of several published short stories including Daydreams, The Dating Intervention was her debut novel. More information on novels available and underway can be found at www.lynnricci.com



Happy Reading!

Cana

 And Don't forget to enter to win as part of our It's The End of the World Blog Event and Giveaway!
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1 More Days Till It's The End Of The World: A Review From Rebecca From Bending The Spine



Description

The world has suddenly changed, and Flex Sheridan doesn't like it.

In an effort to save his sister from the zombie-like epidemic that has swept over the eastern United States and quite possibly the world, Flex re-connects with perhaps the strongest woman he knows - Gem Cardoza, his former girlfriend.

Together they take his six-year-old niece Trina, the only uninfected survivor of his sister's famiy, and his infected sister Jamie, and make a run from central Florida back to his isolated home in Lula, Georgia.

On the way they encounter another uninfected, Hemphill "Hemp" Chatsworth. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Hemp is British, and extremely smart. He holds a degree in Epidemiology and Mechanical Engineering, both of which this group will need.

Along with the crossbow-wielding Charlene "Charlie" Sanders and a pregnant Great Pyranees dog, this small group uses street smarts, book smarts, and technology to defend against the new "Abnormals" that walk the earth.

But Hemp is also compelled to learn how they got this way, and if possible, how to reverse the condition and save Flex's sister.

So grab your machine gun and take a ride in their fortified vehicles and mobile lab; you're going to want these people on your side when the Dead Hunger . . .

Review
Dead Hunger
 4 out of 5 Stars
Dead Hunger is an action packed, heat packing, zombie killing, fast paced ride!

When Flex goes to check on his sister he walks into a horrific surprise waiting for him. I liked Flex’s character. He does what is right out of love and the simple fact that it’s the right thing to do. The atmosphere that Mr. Shelman creates while Flex is at his sisters house opened up the story to the fact that the whole world was about to change--being overrun with zombies. Mr. Shelman used Flex’s family to make me care right off the bat…I don’t know that I would have felt so much for the situation were it not for Flex’s niece.  That really pulled me in.

While Flex is at his sisters house he meets up with his old girlfriend, Gem. OK, I’m not gonna lie it bothered me that she just so happened to come right to Flex on the day the world was going to pot. I liked Flex and Gem together but separate I had a hard time relating to her. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but the next book in the series is Gem’s so maybe that will change

I did however love Hemp! Hemp is a genius scientist and a jack of all trades (Did I mention his accent?). He knows everything about guns and cars…I could use some of Hemp’s inventions when I’m going down I-85. Yes, I know I just sounded a little scary, but he made super cool stuff. I think he is my favorite character and I am really excited for his book. 

If you like zombie reads I think you will like Dead Hunger. One of my favorite quotes:

“ Cutting off the head just makes a dangerous bowling ball with teeth. You get bit, you become one. Scratched, we’re pretty sure you become one. There’s a lot we don’t know, but just act like what we’re telling you is gospel, and you should live to tell your grandkids about this. ”

This was a fast read. It was between a 3 and 4 but I don’t do half's. Just a warning in the description when it says strong language, it’s not joking and there is a lot of it. But, I enjoyed Dead Hunger.

Happy Reading,
Rebecca

IT IS THE NEXT TO LAST DAY FOR THE GIVEAWAY!  DON'T FORGET TO ENTER!



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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2 More Days Till It's The End Of The World: Waiting on Wednesday (HOPEFULLY) Splintered by A. G. Howard


Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 



Description:

For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell—the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.

When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.

There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

Coming out on January, 2013

Why?
  1. Who doesn't like Alice in Wonderland?  Better yet, who wouldn't like to discover that the story of Alice is more than true, and her descendants are living with that knowledge?
  2. Sounds like a cute way to introduce those who haven't actually read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  3. I think that the title is interesting.  Could it possibly mean the splintering of reality, splintering of sanity, or the splintering of a mirror?  So many plays on that title.  
  4. It is such an interesting cover.  I can't exactly say that it is a beautiful cover, but it definitely catches your attention with all the things crowding around it. 

So what are you waiting for?

ALSO, DON'T FORGET TO PUT YOUR NAME IN FOR OUR END OF THE WORLD GIVEAWAY!


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Happy Reading!

Cana

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3 More Days Till It's The End Of The World: An Interview With John Heldt

We have 3 more days till the end of the world, and to help us count down, we are interviewing John Heldt (His Answers are in Red).  


1.         Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Montana librarian, a former award-winning newspaper reporter, and a married father of three who enjoys sports, fishing, cooking chili, and making beer. I grew up in Oregon and Washington, the third oldest of six kids.
2.         What do you do when you are not writing?
I read as often as I can, of course. I love watching football and baseball. But I also like going on long walks. Walking the dog is one of my favorite activities.
3.         When you were a kid, did you want to grow up and be a writer?  Or was there something else you wanted to do?
When I was young, what I wanted to be when I grew up changed almost yearly. I first wanted to be a cartographer, then an architect, a diplomat, a lawyer, and finally a sports writer. I made a living in journalism for more than a decade before getting a Master's degree in library science and switching to my current field.
4.         Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I work with an outline. I first outline a novel, then write chapter summaries, and finally turn those summaries into a manuscript. I know how 99-percent of the story is going to go before I write the first word. I can't imagine doing it any other way.
5.         What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism has come from readers who have dismissed an entire story because they did not like a single character. That's tough to take because characters aren't like typos or formatting errors. They are baked in the cake. They are set. The best compliment, at least forThe Mine, came from an 84-year-old man. He wrote that he had lived in western Washington in 1941 and could relate to the novel. He praised the story's authenticity. That meant a lot to me because I had put a lot of effort into making The Mine historically accurate.
6.         Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
There are two authors I really like: Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille. The former writes thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat and the latter writes thrillers that keep you laughing from the first page to the last. Both men are great writers and storytellers.
7.         Can you tell us about your newest book, The Journey?
The Journey is a coming-of-age story told mostly by a woman who has already come of age. When Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and unfulfilled following the death of her husband in 2010, she seeks to reconnect with her happy childhood at a class reunion in Unionville, Oregon. But when she explores an abandoned mansion with three classmates, she is thrown back in time to 1979. Distraught and nearly penniless, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets a widowed teacher and finds the happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates.
The Journey has much in common with my first novel. Like The Mine, it is a time travel story set in the 20th century in the Pacific Northwest. It has romance, history, humor, adventure, and a protagonist that is reluctant to share time-traveling secrets with her new acquaintances. But The Journey is also different. It is darker and deeper than The Mine and arguably more poignant. It's a novel that is tailor-made for those pondering major life decisions.
8.         Where do you get your ideas?
I get them from a variety of sources: books, movies, life experience. Several books and movies inspired The Mine, including The Time Traveler's Wife, The Notebook, Back to the Future, A Walk in the Clouds, Yanks, and Racing with the Moon. Inspiration for The Journey came mostly from my experience as a young person growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
9.         Do you ever experience writer’s block?  What do you do when that happens?
I rarely experience writer's block. I often find myself at a loss at how to properly describe a scene that I've mapped out. When I do run out of ideas, I go on a long walk. There is nothing like a walk to clear a mind and find new inspiration.
10.      Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Yes. Don’t give up. Don’t put off your project. And don’t let your inner critic overrule your inner artist. Write the book you want to write.

AUTHOR:

Check John out at his BLOGFACEBOOKGOODREADSAMAZON BOOK LINK, and his BARNES & NOBLE BOOK LINK.  


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Happy Reading!

Cana

Monday, December 17, 2012

4 More Days Till It's The End Of The World: A Review From Richie at Bending the Spine


Details:
At the Afterlife Academy of Exceptionally Dark Arts, Lily Fielding is a measly trainee who dreams of one day becoming a Savior—those who visit vampire-infested high schools and put down the undead with their deadly crossbows. When Lily and her classmates Alice and Cara begin their latest assignment, it seems like just another run-of-the-mill gig: they’re to simply spot the Vamplayer—part vampire, part player—identify the popular girl he’s set his sights on, and befriend her before the Vamplayer can turn her to do his bidding. Before long, however, the Vamplayer sets his sights on Lily's friends, and she is left to face the threat alone while protecting her friends from the dark forces she has sworn to resist.

Review:
                                      Vamplayers by Rusty Fischer
                                         4 out of 5 stars


I am a huge fan of Rusty Fischer!  I think that I might be his biggest fan.  Seriously, I cannot read enough of his books! 
 
 
Vamplayers
 is a fun, interesting, new take on the vampire trend that is rocking the YA lit department.  I love this idea, that there are players whose only goal is to seduce, turn, and wreak havoc on a high school and community. 
 
 
So, we’ve got the Sisters: Alice, Cara, & Lily.  They’re, you know, not teenagers, but expertly-trained vampire secret ops agents whose purpose is to seek out the vamplayer.  They have a rank, Lily (our heroine) is Third Sister.  She really has no pull, no authority.  She’s the nobody of the group.  Her history is epic.  Sad, but epic.  And I loved Lily for the most part.  She’s a little of a ditz.  Ok, so maybe a lot of a ditz.  She doesn’t connect the dots.  Even I connected the dots.  So, I got a little frustrated with her.  I wanted to slap her a few times, but she is mostly made of awesome.
 
 
 
I loved Zander and Grover.  By far the best supporting cast and comedic relief I’ve seen in awhile!  They are geeks, outcasts, and scholarship kids at this exclusive school.  They’re pretty much nobodies, too.  And they are made of awesome.
 
 
 
I love the ending!  I didn’t see that coming!  I expected something quite the opposite and love this book all the more for it!  And I’m not going to spoil it for you!

Vamplayers
 is action packed, full of awesome, and a very very fun read!  So, on February 1, BUY THIS BOOK! 


Get to reading,
Richard


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

5 More Days Till It's The End Of The World: Guest Post From Author Mark Parker


The End of the World vs. The End of Civilization

Virtually every religion, society and culture has its version of the end of the world. Armageddon. Ragnarok. The Legend of the Five Suns. If the Mayans have their way, the world as we know it will end on December 21, 2012. One myth has it that a pole shift will cause the continents to break away from the Earth’s core and fly into each other. Another myth posits a rogue planet called Nibiru is on a collision course with Earth. The Galactic Alignment, which last happened around 26,000 years ago, might expose us to unknow galactic radiation, or solar flares of unprecedented power might scorch the Earth making it uninhabitable.

None of these are particularly happy thoughts, but they sure make great fodder for movies. “12 Monkeys” used a lethal virus to end the world. “Dr. Strangelove” had us annihilate ourselves in a nuclear holocaust. “War of the Worlds” offered Martian invaders as the means of our demise. In “The Terminator” it was the machines that took over the world. In “I Am Legend” the cure for cancer becomes the agent of destruction.
Novels love the apocalypse too. Stephen King used a super-flu virus to wipe out humanity and set up the final conflict. “World War Z” posits the ever-popular zombie apocalypse. Nuclear war is the fait accompli for “A Canticle for Lebowitz.”

I love post-apocalyptic fiction, but I’ve noticed that much of it is set with a relatively short time after the fall. Denzel Washington’s epic action flick, “Book of Eli,” and the hit television series, “Revolution,” are both set within a generation of the civilization-ending event. Something in the back of my mind said, if something bad enough happened to end civilization as we know it, it’s probably gonna take longer than a generation or two to rebuild.

In my own novel, “The Scavengers,” I chose an enormous comet as the hammer of God. Mankind is literally bombed back into the Stone Age. The comet strike ushers in a new Dark Age that lasts at least a millennium. The action picks up perhaps 500 years after that. Civilization has reasserted itself. New people groups have risen, new governments, new religions. One thing that hasn’t changed is man’s thirst for knowledge and lust for power. The head of the religious order and the head of the civil order struggle for supremacy, and one must eventually bow the knee to the other.

If the world is still here after December 21, I’m going to start working on the sequel.

Author:



Mike Parker is an actor, writer, director, playwright & screenwriter. He holds a BA degree in Bible and Philosophy and served as an officer with the US Army’s elite commando force, the Green Berets.

As an actor he has appeared in regional and national television commercials, in music videos with popular artists such as 3 Doors Down, Garrett Hedlund and Due West, in the films Country Strong, Lukewarm, Season of Miracles and Redemption, and in the FX television series Outlaw Country, the PBS documentary,Slavery By Another Name and ABC’s hit TV drama, Nashville.
As a writer, more than 1000 of his articles, celebrity profiles, CD, book & theater reviews, and poetry have been published by national print and online periodicals. He has authored three successfully produced stage plays including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray which he recently adapted into an award-winning screenplay. He is a contributing author to the inspirational compilation, Stories From A Soldier’s Heart, (Multnomah) with Alice Gray, co-author of the business book, Shameless Self Promotion with Paula K. Parker and Torry Martin (WordCrafts Press), and provided commentary for the popular Bible-zine,Real (Thomas Nelson). He created and serves as managing editor for the online entertainment magazine, BuddyHollywood.com. The Scavengers is his first novel. 




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Happy Reading!

Cana