Monday, December 29, 2014

Lies a River Deep

My Thoughts

Bessie Day Hardy seems to have a fairly calm life with nothing drastic really standing out for the first few chapters. Bessie's ponderings meander along like a river for most of the first few chapters...then suddenly we start hearing the cat's thoughts and the story gets incredibly more complex from there. As a teenager, Bessie is incredibly optimistic, incredibly confused and steadfastly loyal to the love of her young life, Roland. One summer night, Bessie's life is changed forever....and it effects the lives of everyone she ever cares about for the rest of her life. Somewhere in this world you know there are people that are hurt as badly as the victims in this story and their are people as messed up as the bad unforgettable foray into how deep lies can extend and hurt. I would like to think that Bessie has the ultimate happy ending.
As a wise-beyond-his-years man once told me concerning love...the truth will set you free.

Author Bio
Pharaoh's Star is Vera Jane Cook's most recent release. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was Vera Jane’s second southern fiction novel and was a finalist in the ForeWord book of the Year Awards for 2012 and received a five star ForeWord Clarion review, as well as an Eric Hoffer honorable mention award for ebook fiction in 2013. Dancing Backward in Paradise also received a 5 Star Clarion ForeWord review and an Eric Hoffer notable new fiction award in 2006, as well as the Indie Excellence Award in 2006. Also by Vera Jane Cook: Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Marybeth, Hollister & Jane and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem. Her next novel, Pleasant Day will be published in 2015 by Moonshine Cove Press.
Author's Facebook and Twitter
Author's blog. I love when author's have a blog. :-)

Buy It:
---Barnes & Noble

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Found, Near Water

Crime / Thriller / Mystery
Date Published: July 2014

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Rena Sutherland wakes from a coma into a mother’s nightmare. Her daughter is missing – lost for four days – but no one has noticed; no one has complained; no one has been searching.
As the victim support officer assigned to her case, Christine Emmett puts aside her own problems as she tries to guide Rena through the maelstrom of her daughter’s disappearance.
A task made harder by an ex-husband desperate for control; a paedophile on early-release in the community; and a psychic who knows more than seems possible.
And intertwined throughout, the stories of six women; six daughters lost.

About the Author

Katherine Hayton is a 41 year old woman who works in insurance, doesn't have children or pets, can't drive, has lived in Christchurch her entire life, and currently resides a two minute walk from where she was born. For some reason she's developed a rich fantasy life.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas is Murder
Today is the Release Day!

“Christmas is Murder” is a touching--and comical--seasonal cozy. It will have you wanting to stoke the fire and top up that glass of eggnog.
Albany’s the perfect image of a winter wonderland, and Sean and Sara’s friend Jimmy is going to be Santa Claus for the upcoming Christmas parade. The trees and decorations have been selected and the gifts have been purchased. The season has truly cast its magical spell--until Sean and Sara’s neighbors die in a horrible house fire.
While the fire department ruled holiday-related hazards as the cause, Sara suspects there’s more to it. Her determination to find the truth has her and Sean toeing the line between what’s legal and what’s not.
As they sort out fact from fiction, the McKinleys make the final decision about whether or not they should open a private investigation firm.

“Sara.” Sean became motionless, and speechless, when his eyes fell on what was before them.
“The Wilsons?” She took one step, but Sean held her arm.
“You can’t go in there, darling.” The desperation in his eyes said it all—it wasn’t safe or practical.
“Excuse me. We’re going to have to ask you leave.” A uniformed man approached them. The label on his hat read Chief.
“Are they okay? Was anybody hurt?”
A voice came over his radio and indicated the blaze was coming under control.
The chief nodded to Sara and gestured for them to move back.
For some reason, even though he answered in the affirmative, with a nod, she sensed it had more to do with directing them to the side than denoting good news.
“Who are you two?”
“I’m—” Her voice was shaky and Sean took over.
“We’re the McKinleys, from next door. Sean and Sara.”
“What caused the fire?” Sara asked.
“This time of year we get a lot of calls.” He gestured to the Christmas lights that dangled from the Wilsons’ eaves like eerie shadows, carrying haunting memories of happier times.
“The Wilsons, are they—”
Plumes of smoke exited the front window. The firemen kept spraying.
The chief’s crease lines took on sharp edges. His mouth fell into a straight line. “I’m sorry to say this, but they didn’t make it.”
“Oh, darling.” Sara turned toward Sean and he held her tight.
“What happened?” Sean asked.
“They were both found in the living room. They were rushed away immediately, but the call came en route to the hospital. For what it matters, I don’t think they suffered. I think they were asleep on the couch when the fire started and died from smoke inhalation.”
Even though her back was to the man, Sara sensed his heart was broken over the situation. She imagined his gaze on her.
“Well, you don’t need all the details.” His gravelly voice confirmed her suspicion.
“I assume there will be an investigation into the cause of the fire,” Sean said.
Sara straightened and turned to face the chief, her shoulder remained tucked under Sean’s armpit, their torsos as close as possible with their bulky winter coats.
“It’s standard protocol.”
“Did they have any family? People—”
“Mrs. McKinley, arrangements for the notification is being made as we speak.”
“We just met them this afternoon.” The statement fell as a guilty confession, remorse over not knowing them underscored every word.
“They have a daughter who lives in town.”
“Please, what is her name?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you that.”
Sean tightened his hold on Sara. “We understand, Chief—I’m sorry, what is your name?”
“Harold Fox.”
“We got it,” a voice called over the radio.
The men, who were spraying the front, turned the water off and lowered the hose. The smell of fire clung to the air. The snowfall that had earlier cast a magical spell had taken on the weight of loss and sadness.

Author Bio
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the bestselling author of the Madison Knight series, the Brandon Fisher series, and the McKinley Mysteries. Her love for writing dates back to her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said "tell me a story." Since then Carolyn has never looked back.
Her writing has since been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.
Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada, and she currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near Toronto.

For more information on the author visit



Short Stories / Christmas
Date Published: November 2014

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A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Within Hark–A Christmas Collection, a retired police officer faces another Christmas Eve while bitter recollections haunt his every turn, a lonely woman plans to seduce Santa Claus one Christmas Eve, a widow grows anxious as she searches for a present she misplaced and intended to send to her ungrateful sister, a woman can’t keep the images of her past–these ghosts–from haunting the life she chooses to live, a bookstore clerk and his partner join a Christmas party in Sun Valley, Idaho and are taught a lesson most un-holidaylike, and, finally, a couple portrays Mr. & Mrs. Claus in their small island town holiday festivities and face a grim diagnosis together.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from Sandcastle and Other Stories–The Complete Edition, is included.

About the Author

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower who colors outside the lines, and treat master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.'

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Kids from the River
Review and Excerpt

The dead Ed Buchart sighed at James’ remark. “You should know by now I only invest in a sure thing. No, we’ll let Ramsey take the risks developing Moon Glow and its mysterious signal. If it fails, it’ll break him.”
“If it succeeds?” James poked a warning.
Ed Buchart turned to his son for the first time. His look told James he should’ve instinctively known the answer and never asked the question in the first place. “We’ll simply legislate it away from him.”
His father’s response was artificially patient. “We’ll orchestrate the will of the people. They’ll do it for us. They always do.”
The dead weight of the masses outweighs the privilege of genius. James sealed the rule into his memory.

My Thoughts
"The Kids From the River" is in the New Adult Dystopian genre but I think it should also be considered a mystery. I was definitely intrigued. Each of the kids thought they knew each other and themselves. Years of war and violence take the "kids" far from their innocent childhood the "SS," ambition, technology, seemingly endless explosions, violence and death. Max, Amy, Brian and James each learn what they, and those around them, are willing to do and become...for better or worse.

I wish that the inner emotions and psyche of the other three kids were explored more (Max's were very well explored). Sometimes I felt that the story was perfect in its sudden explanations of why things happened and at other times I would more like to have been shown. The religious elements of the story came on much more heavily at the end and for a time that was confusing (I would like to understand the sacred works this story brings into play and if they are at odds with Christianity). In any case, I think both the kids and the author found their answers...have you found yours??

My rating:
 4.75 stars (Yes, I can do that.)
Will I reread? Yes
Prudish Parent Verdict: A few bits of sexual beautiful and several other brief moments. No crude euphimisms (indeed I do not recall any body parts being mentioned).

Buy it: 

Author Bio
Mark Cosman’s writing began when his daughter, Berlyn, was murdered following her high school prom. It was when he left the rubble of his beliefs and assumptions to go in search of answers to the most profound questions we humans ask ourselves. His first book, “A Flower in the Snow” and later, “The Kids from the River” are the result of that odyssey.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Donata: In the Mind of a Victim
Review, giveaway and guest blog!

"Use the darkness of your past to propel you to a brighter future."
-Donata Joseph

Author Bio

Donata Joseph believes in making her mark and changing lives. In 2011, Ms. Joseph founded Adding Doses of Hope Daily Foundation to empower families of children with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She wanted to share her experiences, challenges and
tips for raising two children diagnosed with ADHD. 

In 2012, she decided to break the silence and address the escalating issue of Domestic Violence. Her blog, Behind Closed Doors, chronicled a seven-year abusive relationship. The post elicited responses from people all over the world. The Foundation sponsors events and programs that bridge the gap between mental health and healthy relationships. Through motivational speaking, youth mentoring and parenting education, she encourages, empowers and elevates individuals in all walks of life to reflect on their overall mental wellness. Prior to founding Adding Doses of Hope Daily foundation,
Ms. Joseph volunteered in a variety of community settings, including nonprofit organizations, youth centers and churches. 

In 2013, Ms. Joseph created DONATA, a natural skin care line that also offers skincare, nutrition and health seminars. She uses this platform to empower teens and adults to see the connection between
their minds, bodies and spirits. The proceeds from DONATA help fund programs for Adding Doses of Hope Daily Foundation. 

Ms. Joseph obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida International University with an emphasis in Behavioral Analysis. She was a research assistant in the University’s Center for Children and Families, where she focused on research and treatment of evidence-based approaches in child and adolescent mental health.
She lives in Miami, Florida with her three children.

Author Links - 

Book Genre: Self-Help|Inspirational
Publisher: Adding Doses of HOPE Daily
Release Date: December 7, 2014
Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Description:
In this soul-bearing book, Donata Joseph reveals why she stayed in a seven-year abusive relationship and the incident that motivated her to leave.
She talks honestly about the judgmental remarks elicited from family and friends who did not understand the emotional, familial and financial complexity of her situation or why she did not recognize herself as a victim.
In a heart-wrenching chapter, Ms. Joseph discusses the impact her abusive relationship had on her two teen daughters and young son and the ensuing parent-child conversations that changed all of their lives. 
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, consider recommending this book. Ms. Joseph wraps up her knowledge, wisdom and advice in a non-threatening
package delivered with compassion and understanding.

My Thoughts:
Such a hard topic to even read about. Abusive relationships are just so...complex. I am glad that the typical cycle of abuse was shown as this might help some whose abusers are, perhaps deliberately, confusing them.
And why do we call them abusive "relationships" anyway...when quite often one of the people is in no way loyal to the other? I feel sorrow for the two daughters and the time it will take for this legacy to work its way out of the family. I hope there are no repercussions to Ms. Joseph for writing this book and I am so glad that she was able to speak out. I also wish Ms. Joseph the gift of finding a true and right love.
We are homeschooling parents, well on the verge of homeschooling...we have a Preschooler and Toddler will be starting soon after. We had planned on including discussion of Domestic Violence in their Health Classes. I am glad that teen dating violence was brought up here-it's something you don't really think of if you have never been exposed to anyone committing such. The book pointed out that 1 in 3 teens experience dating violence!
I would love to see another writing of this book after Donata has healed for some time. I have a feeling this would be a very powerful thing to read!



It takes one time…

These stories that I’m hearing or reading are heartbreaking. Ladies, we need to empower ourselves to know that we are worth more than the relationships we allow ourselves to be in. Being with a partner that verbally, physically or emotionally abuses you is NOT acceptable. I understand we make excuses for our partners and that’s what keeps us in these relationships but who are we truly hurting, them or ourselves… or worse, our children. Some of us don’t even realize how bad our situation is until it’s too late, like one story you will read below. Some of us feel that our partner will change or God will change them – what if that doesn’t happen then what?

I recently heard a story of a woman where her mate beat her; she didn’t leave but allowed herself to believe that God forgave him. I can’t judge if God did or didn’t but when it happens again, because it will, what excuse will you use to comfort yourself then. People that abuse people don’t wake up one day and stop; they have to go through a process either counseling, anger management, church…Etc. They have to realize and accept that what they are doing is wrong and WANT to change. Regardless of the method, there is a process that must take place. We automatically assume that they changed because they asked for forgiveness, promise that they will never do it again, cry, give flowers and are the sweetest person for a few days…. on the other hand we are so blind we don’t realize that’s just another part of the domestic violence cycle called the honeymoon phase. Trust me; I know we think FINALLY it won’t happen again. WRONG, the next thing that makes them snap all hell breaks loose and we are the punching bags again… this time the question is         WILL WE SURVIVE…

Here is a story I read today (8/2012)– what breaks my heart is where she tweeted “Wouldn’t be so bad if he ain’t tried 3 times before, But I’m Gods Child ain’t never scared” – that’s the  same day he killed her. God can only do so much, he gives us the tools to make wise chooses. We can’t stand in front of a bus and not expect to get killed. I’m not in any way putting this young girl down or saying she deserved this by any means. My point is the God issue, it’s like the other story where she said God forgave her boyfriend, that’s great STILL don’t continue to stay in harm’s way to wait for God to have to forgive him again after another violent attack. We use God to make excuses for them did it ever occur that maybe God didn’t choose that person for us. Let’s think of it that way and allow ourselves to break free from these violent relationships.

If a guy can threaten to kill you TRUST that he probably will. Forget that he said it 100 times before, it takes him to SNAP ONE TIME and you’re done. Some make it out alive some don’t. Don’t take that chance, no relationship is worth it…                      
RIP to another DV victim: Woman found murdered 2 days after calling 911 for help

~Donata Joseph #adhdfdn #E3Yourself

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Misc. Food Suff

-----Plum and Oregano Chicken Kebabs recipe.  I am starting to get recipes together for Grilling Season. :-) I am starting a "Grilling Season" board on Pinterest. :-)
-----We are actually resorting to buying a box of eggs this month. Our family goes through a LOT of eggs! It looks like the only brand our Walmart has boxes of (60 count) is Ozark Farmers Market. The box is 8-something and this is about half the price we would have to pay for as many eggs in cartons. Still, I am going to find an e-mail and write the company asking if they have any coupons for our first adventure with big boxes of eggs. :-)
-----Quick Can Candied Yams recipe. Uses raisins. #CansGetYouCooking

Fluffy the Bird
Review, excerpt and interview with the authors!

So, I am glad my children and I read "Fluffy the Bird." Actually, we read it four times and I am hoping that the ideas of following dreams and having a life purpose and everyone being special especially gets our Preschooler to thinking (sometimes he has self-esteem issues). Both Toddler and Preschooler liked the adventure Fluffy had and now know the character well. I am sure we will be reading future books that the Destras write. Thank you to both authors!
---We seem to read a lot of books with birds with music notes and that was a good thing to point out. Over the next year or so, I am teaching Preschooler the most basic reading of music (this will help with the junior drum set he has).
---There was a man in a suit in the book whom we talked about looking like President Obama from the back. :-)

"There was a little bird that sang so beautifully and he would sing and sing. Oh, how he loved to sing! Fluffy's voice was so beautiful and often his voice would be heard out in the immediate area. People would stop stop outside the house for hours listening to the soul soothing voice of Fluffy.

When it was sunny outside, Fluffy would be placed out on the porch to take in the rays from the sun. There, Fluffy would sing making melodies that caused people to stop and pay honor to such marvelous singing. Joy was brought to all that heard Fluffy's lovely singing."

I so agree that constant involvement is key. 
Husband and I are blessed in that we currently both stay home with our children.

Preschooler's Questions to Ronald Destra:
1. What do you like best about Miami?
I like the school systems currently the direction they are headed in. However, they are other things I also enjoy about Miami: The beach, restaurants and night clubs.What I like best about Miami, There are so many beautiful women especially the black sisters I admire and adore the most.
2. What would you build if you were playing Legos with me?
I have no idea because I am not a fan.
3. Where would Fluffy fly to if he were out of the cage?
Fluffy the Bird is so amazing and friendly; I think he would fly to the nearest park to sing with other birds and children.

And some further questions from me. :-)
1. Here on my blog we are a sucker for true love stories. How did you meet and how did Ronald propose?
 We met through a mutual friend of ours. We became close friends for many years. Then, one day, we were having a friendly conversation on our way to dinner, and I  proposed right there.
2. Please tell us about Destra World Books Publishing services to authors.
Destra World Books Publishing is the internet premiere online publishing company. We have many plans, packages and publishing services to suite your needs.

Destra World Books Publishing provides top notch publishing services, giving book and eBook authors a 60% net royalty profit which is more than the industry standard. In today's technology driven world, Destra World Books Publishing gives authors worldwide distribution and allows them to keep all their copy rights. And provides authors with valuable marketing and promotional services, to get the word out about authors' books and business owners services or products.

If you want to publish a book or eBook, Destra World Books Publishing has great author services, helping you with editing, illustration, cover design, ISBN, online sales and more. Destra World Books Publishing is the # 1 choice for all your publishing needs. You are welcome to visit the company's website or call and speak with a top notch publishing consultant. 305-795-2232
3.  What led you to work with books and ultimately, to write children books?
I always had a passion for writing and reading for many years. After I published my first children book, Hoppy the Frog, my wife became more interested in working side by side on our  next project. Children book is a huge market. We felt that we can make  a positive impact in parents, schools, libraries, churches, children organizations and children's lives through our books. And most of the issues children are encountering every day in school, parks, and homes are in our books. Therefore, if our books can make a difference in a child's life, then, I have fulfill my purpose.
4. What are your two upcoming children's books about? 
Great question!
Scrappy the Dog offers tale of hope and perseverance through dog's adventures:
 It is a story of a sweet little pup names Scrappy the Dog who ventures out into the world to escape the mistreatment and lack of care he experienced at home.

Tommy the Giraffe teaches children to embrace their uniqueness in spite of challenges: 
Tommy the Giraffe tells a delighted story about a giraffe that had a hard time getting used to his height. Tommy was mocked and jeered by the other animals in the jungle. His height made it very difficult for him to do certain things. But as he grew older, Tommy came to realize that being very tall also had its advantage. The giraffe used his unusual height to offer protection for the jungle community and soon he was seen as hero rather than a tall, clumsy giraffe.
5. Do you have any other books and children's projects planned for the near future?
Yes. I am currently working on the audio books for Fluffy the Bird, Scrappy the Dog and Tommy the Giraffe. We also working on the 3D animation of all 3 children books as mention up above. Finally, sometime in mid 2015,  we plan to start translating Fluffy the Bird, Scrappy the Dog and Tommy the Giraffe into French and Spanish.
6. Ronald, what is your ultimate goal as far as helping children learn they have purpose and not to give up?
My ultimate goal is to keep writing and sharing my messages through my publish books with parents, guardians, schools, churches, and children organizations. Hopefully, my message in my book would help kids find their purpose in life and to never give up.

Author Bio
Ronald Destra is an aspiring children author, illustrator, publisher, entrepreneur and husband. He resides in Florida. Mr. Destra is the author, co-author and illustrator of four (4) children books, Hoppy the Frog, Fluffy the Bird, Scrappy the Dog & Tommy the Giraffe.
---Ronald Destra is the co-founder of Destra World Books Publishing.
His purpose in life is to help young children learn that they do have a purpose in life and to never give up no matter what life throws at them.
For more about Ronald Destra and his books, please visit his site.


Author Bio
Juanita Destra is the CEO of Destra World Books Publishing which provides professional literary services to authors and business owners.
Co-author of Fluffy the Bird & Scrappy the Dog. Aside from her publishing expertise, Juanita Destra has been employed in the medical field for many years which she strives to provide high quality patient care.
More about Juanita Destra and her books, please visit her site.

Preschooler's Questions to Juanita Destra:
1. What do you like best about Miami?
I like the weather, Miami tourists attraction and the beach.
2. What would you build if you were playing Legos with me?
I do not know.
3. Where would Fluffy fly to if he were out of the cage?
I think the park or the tree that is in the back of the house.

And the questions from me:

1. Here on my blog we are a sucker for true love stories. How did you meet and how did Ronald propose?
 We met through a mutual friend. We were friends for a very long time. One day, we were headed to dinner and he proposed to me.
3.  What led you to work with books and ultimately, to write children books?
I always loved books since high school. After my husband published his first children's book, Hoppy the Frog, I knew we could put our brilliant minds together and create a buzz for our books. Plus, we wanted to help people—especially children and leave our legacy behind. The best way was through writing children's books.
4. What are your two upcoming children's books about? 
Fluffy the Bird teaches children the importance of following your purpose in life. Scrappy the Dog offers a tale of hope and perseverance through dog's adventures.
5. Do you have any other books and children's projects planned for the near future?
Definitely. I am working on the audio books of Fluffy the Bird, Scrappy the Dog and Tommy the Giraffe. And afterward, we will work on the translation of these children's books and 3D animations.
6. Juanita, your bio says you enjoy assisting people to reach their maximum potential...that's awesome. What are your future projects?
Great question. We are working on several projects for 2015. Author/poet activist William J Warren's next book will be published with Destra World Books Publishing. Upcoming author/poet Farrand Clarke's new book, Just Right Poetry, is due for release in the the later part of 2015 and so much more.
In conclusion, I'd like to send a shout out to Paul 5 Star Security Inc, William J Warren, Network Chiropractic Consultants, Author Reginald Canon, Author/Illustrator/Publisher Ronald Destra and Destra World Books Publishing. Thank you guys for all the support. We love you!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hunter No More

Samantha Marriott's  family is lucky to escape a growing political discontent in their hometown. Things would be great at their new temporary home if it weren't for the fact that aliens have decided to complete their missions of destruction and all the adults have huge secrets. Samantha and all those around her quickly decide what it is that is important to them and must fight for the death.

A very smoothly written science fiction. This smoothness made the story entrancing and so believable (another that was read in one-sitting...again, one-sitting as defined by a mother of a running Toddler and a constantly jumping Preschooler). The only time that I found myself pausing for believability was when humor was at just too awkward a time (that happened a bit near the end of the story).

I like all of my characters to be very well-developed and this story had a puzzling way. The action was laid out by several different narrators. For this particular story, skipping around from one mind to the other actually worked (and one might even say it was appropriate for the subject matter covered). On some level, each entity (person, machine or alien) is struggling to understand the true meaning of humanity.
(I would recommend Roger Zelazny's "The Last Defender of Camelot" for readers who wish to further think about humanity and whether humanity can be learned via will power...G.D. Tinnams can take this observation as a big compliment to his writing style.)

Rating: Five Stars for me and that is not an easy thing for the more modern sci-fi to get from me. :-)
Prudish Parent Verdict: I will be adding the paperback to my children's book libraries for when they are grownup. There is no sexual content but some remarks about intimacy towards the end of the book.

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“Come on,” she said, reaching through the hatch and clasping Roger by both arms. His breathing had become laboured and he made no effort to help himself as she pulled him through the gap.

Standing up awkwardly she stared down at him. His face was burnt and his eyes were closed. Carrying him was not an option. Her own limbs were far too heavy.

She kicked him.

“Get up!” She rasped. “Come on you silly little man, you can rest all you like later. Kristof could be here any second.”

He didn’t move, Josella waved a hand in dismissal and then stumbled wearily across to the nearby escape pod door. The display above the door indicated it was intact. She punched the button. The door opening just as a large hand tapped her on the shoulder.

“Good,” she said, turning round. “You’re u...”
It was Kristof, his single eye glinting red with reflected light.
“Your skin’s peeling,” Kristof commented. “That’s not a good look.”

Reflexively, she tried to push him away, but it was a push that lacked any real force. Grabbing her wrist, his fingers closed around it with bone-crushing force.

She fell to her knees.

Kristof turned his head toward Roger and studied him. Roger’s barely opened eyes stared back.

“It was quite difficult for me to get here,” Kristof said turning back to Josella. “Using the engine inspection channel was very daring of you and very dangerous. You almost beat me.”

“Just let us come with you, Kristof,” she said wearily. “You gain nothing by killing us.”

The giant nodded slowly as if considering her words and then threw her back towards the engine hatch. She fell over Roger, landing sprawled over his chest.

“I’m leaving you here,” Kristof declared as he wiped away yet more blood from the weeping eye socket. He held up the drive he had recovered. The drive Josella knew was her own.
“I’ll be interested to see where this takes me.”

He stepped through the doorway and then turned to face her. “I don’t blame you, Josella. Kanton commanded and you obeyed. That is as it should be, but I also cannot suffer you to live. You have caused me far too much pain... Goodbye Josella.”

The door thudded to a close and he was gone. Struggling to her feet, Josella staggered across to the display and was almost felled by vibrations as the pod blasted away from the hull. Kristof had escaped. She turned to Roger, he had managed to prop his back up against the wall, but had moved no further.

“We’re dead, aren’t we?”

She did not reply.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cancer Club
by Lucinda Sue Crosby

This was a very emotional read full of nuggets of wisdom and fear for me. My Mother died after an almost 5-year battle with Stage 4 breast cancer last year. In Marley, I saw my Mother's journey and the many attempts to cope and face all of life's many realities in one quick swoop. I saw the hurry up and wait that is such a BIG part of cancer...indeed, this novel truly had a lot of emotional waiting though it seemed emotions were flying and life was moving along with its many demands. As you may have noticed, I am a bit of a prude, so it took me a bit to get past a few of the sexy parts in the book..but this character was so real to me....kind of what like Auntie Mame would be like with breast cancer. :-) In a way, I might have liked the story more if Marly had not been a jetsetter- the betrayals, insensitivity, apathy and people using being associated with the illness as some sort of trophy are more typical of what the average cancer patient faces. I hope that I handle the battle with as much LIFE should I find myself on the breast cancer journey. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Angelina "Angel" McFarland lives in London in a fairly perfect life (though her parents are not as involved in her life as they could be). Angel's sisters,Paulina and Brittney Renae, are everything to her. Then one day she has an accident and finds herself falling into Neverland...far from the adorable sisters she loves and the comfortable life she is accustomed to. Angel also has amnesia that seems to be getting worse. She must get home before she forgets it all and wants to stay in Neverland forever.

Angel quickly realizes that James "just Jamie" Hook may not have much of the ugliness and meanness that she read of in fairytales (and heard from the Lost Boys). The James Hook character was entirely different than other tellings of Peter Pan. It was very good to hear the tale from his viewpoint,too. The two narrations blended perfectly with very little awkwardness.

Peter is not as would be expected for someone reveling in not growing up but there is good reason for this. Despite Pan's anger and resentment being justified, it was hard for me to entirely like him as a character...but I guess someone with that much betrayal at young age would make similar choices. Really, when I think about it, I see Peter doing nothing but betraying and being selfish (the very things that make him so sad about the real world). It is depressing that this character's psychological problems may get worse in the next novel..."Pan's Revenge."

I would have liked to see a little more development of both the (smelly) pirates and the (needed to be cuter and a bit fiercer)Lost Boys...but I am a fan of seeing authors somehow fully develop ALL characters.
(Maybe we can see at least a little bit of how James Hook developed a relationship with Smee in the next novel?)

It is a Neverland much like the traditional telling and yet SO different. I had a lot of fun recognizing references. Now I want to watch the Disney version and read J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan and Wendy" again! What a beautiful world that Anna Katmore creates for the characters....including a beautiful volcano and the possibility that James Hook will have an adventure with it in a later volume.

The cliffhanger ending is perfect....I could not figure out where it was going from there though I did have one intriguing guess based on previous Peter Pan storylines and what I feel is a loose end in this book. If handled well and given the right actors, this would make a perfect "saga" movie. I am excited to see the next journey.

A fan-made book trailer.I love the song.

Rating by me: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
This was bit of a complex rating for me to come to.
---I am used to YA Fantasy not sticking to the time period for language and habits (Hook had some modern day swearing, for instance). This choice of writing style is often amusing. :-)
---I am not used to the fact that a lot of Young Adult books have intimacy now...but have to acknowledge that would often be realistic for someone a few months short of eighteen. There was mainly just a lot of kissing and no truly suggestive language. A lot of kissing, no real mention of body parts, no crude euphemisms for body parts and just mention in his thoughts by James Hook of having "made love" at one point. So, I think this is a read for young adults and above (not teens).
Anyway, those kind of things made me pause in my reading. In the end though, I feel that this is a sweet story with a lot of potential to be a "saga" type movie.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Maia and the Secrets of Zagran

Title: Maia and the Secrets of Zagran
Author: S.G. Basu
Genre: YA Science Fiction / Fantasy

Thirteen year old Maia thinks she has seen it all.

She has survived an assassination attempt, she has been threatened by the chancellor, and she has faced off with saboteurs trying to bring down a nation. She lets nothing get to her anymore-not the ominous nightmares she has been having lately, not the fear of being targeted for another soul extraction, not even the memories of her dead mother's terrifying communique.

More than ever, Maia wants the Initiative to resume. She longs to visit Zagran-the undersea capital of the Jjord. She wants to ride the underwater transport lines, learn about the Jjordic energy farms and most of all-she wants to goof off with her friends.

But, around the charming city of Zagran, evil is gathering. Maia and her friends do not know it yet, the countdown to their planned extinction has already begun.

What happened next was a blur. All Maia could remember was charging at the center of the formation with Bellator. Piercing each curve in space, twirling and twisting her sword, she slashed through the wall, creating a path for her to pass through. The boulders came apart in fragments, the pieces flying past her and some scraping her painfully in the face, arms, and legs. The parts of the formation that went past untouched by Bellator, hit the wall behind Maia, creating a scorched impression on it. Remii stared at her with glazed eyes, his face twitching with fury as he stood with fists clenched. As some of the fragments flew back violently in his direction, he raised his hand again, possibly to build a shield, but he was not fast enough. He tumbled and fell as they hit him, groaning and clawing at his face where it was gashed and scalded by shrapnel from the wave.
There was a hopeful pause before Miir attacked. His black sword was as vicious as Maia had always found it to be. Once again she was engulfed by the fire of his fearsome swordplay that grew stronger around her with every passing moment. All Maia could think was to fight until her last breath. She could not give in. She had to fight for Bikele, Gibbon, and everything else that was good in this world. Wishing for her friends to arrive soon, Maia lunged at Miir, trying to push him back a little, and hoping to catch him off balance. She had forgotten all about his swordsmanship, about his skills that were far superior than Maia would have liked to admit. He stepped aside with the quickness of a lightning bolt, and as Maia struggled to regain her balance, the hilt of his sword came crashing down at the back of her neck.
Bellator went flying from her hand again as Maia fell in a crumpled heap against a leg of the table. As she slowly brought herself up to a sitting position, she became aware of the sharp tip of Miir’s sword resting between her eyes, steady and poised to strike.
“Why are you doing this?” Maia said, struggling to fill her lungs with air.
“Because you are being a hindrance to our operations and . . . you threatened my brother.” Miir’s voice was cold and unrelenting.
How Maia had hoped to run into Miir over the last few weeks, how badly she had wished for a chance to apologize. Never once had she dreamed of meeting him like this. She had not meant it then, but what she had said to him the last time they had met had indeed come true—they were surely not friends anymore.
“Don’t do this. Please,” Maia pleaded, the painful lump in her throat choking her voice. "This...this is wrong."

Buy it on Amazon.
As of this posting, there is a Kindle Edition available that is still a pre-order and the current price is $2.99.

S. G. Basu is a telecommunications engineer by profession, but she likes to call herself a dreamer. Imagination, fueled by a voracious appetite for books, has been her steady friend since childhood. She discovered her passion for writing quite by chance and there has been no stopping her since then.

Find out more about the futuristic worlds she creates, the characters that come to life with their emotions and ambitions, successes and failures, joys and heartbreaks, at

Giveaways for autographed copies will be up on Goodreads and BookLikes soon. :-)

-----Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy (The Lightbound Saga, #1)
-----Maia and the Secrets of Zagran (The Lightbound Saga, #2)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Undead Obsessed

Non Fiction / Pop Culture
Date Published: October 31, 2014

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Jessica Robinson's obsession with zombie films started when she was in junior high. Horror films are a great lens to examine concerns society has about modern science. Let’s face it, when it comes to horror movies, science has a bad reputation. Blind ambition, experimental serums, and genetic experiments are often blamed for the giant monster terrorizing the city or the reason aliens are taking human prisoners or the cause of the dead rising from the grave to consume living flesh.
Using film, literature, and interviews with experts, Robinson examines how zombies portray real-world fears such as epidemics, mind control, what may or may not exist in space, the repercussions of playing God, and the science behind the fears. Robinson's goal is to explore how zombies become a metaphor for our fears of science and what could happen if science gets out of hand.

About the Author

Jessica Robinson is an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in her books). Since the first time she watched Night of the Living Dead, she has been obsessed with zombies and often thinks of ways to survive the uprising. In addition to her nonfiction book, under the pen name Pembroke Sinclair, she has written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world. She has also written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films. You can learn more about Jessica by visiting her at

Buy Links


2 Copies of Undead Obsessed

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Here at our house I am really looking forward to reading this one. Husband worked for Tobey Sells on the zombie movie "Collapse" and we have quit a few zombie wounds sculpts floating around the house at any given time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ratgirl: Song of the Viper

Young Adult
Date Published: December 31, 2013
YA Dystopian-Award Nominee

goodreads page

The only things sixteen-year-old JAX STONE has of her former life is an antique watch and an old storybook her grandmother left her, a five-year-old brother, ANDY, her mother left her, and a hypnotic singing voice she inherited from her father.

A streetwise orphan, she is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where the rich have fled to the New Continent and the deadly daytime sun forces the middle class to live in sewer tunnels. Jax, along with the rest of the homeless, must be wary of rats—the furry ones underground that steal their food and invade their shelter and the human ones above ground that steal their children and threaten their lives.

When the tyrannical mayor, SYLVANIS A. CULPEPPER, kidnaps Jax’s brother it’s no coincidence. His son has died from multiple rat bites and he kidnaps all of the city’s children with a two-fold ulterior motive. One, to find his illegitimate offspring, and two, to garner a slave labor force to build his planned underground city using those he did not father.

Jax is surprised when Culpepper’s personal pilot, COLT CONRAD, a stranger from the New Continent, facilitates her escape from the mayor’s mansion after her first attempt to save Andy goes awry. Romantic emotions interfere with her determination to rescue her brother and though she knows who Colt is, she doesn’t know they are both descendants of the founders of an environmental militant group called the ECOS, who battled Culpepper two generations earlier, and lost their lives to the unscrupulous tyrant.

Jax accidentally discovers her singing has a hypnotic effect on the rats. Desperate to win Andy’s freedom, she disguises herself as a world-renowned exterminator with the help of a rag-tag band of friends. ASTORIA CRUZ, a teen nightwalker. RAFE JOHNSTON, the leader of a street gang. And a genius boy nicknamed CHIENSTEIN, who designs tools from scavenged machine parts Jax picks at abandoned mansions and industrial sites. Colt introduces her as THE VIPER and she barters with Culpepper. If she rids Metro city of the rats that killed his child she will receive enough gold to pay passage for her brother, her friends and herself to the New Continent.

In a life-threatening ruse Jax uses her mesmerizing song to lure the city’s rats to their death in the toxic river. But when the corrupt mayor reneges on the agreement, Jax and her friends ultimately outwit and out battle the greedy autocrat. Culpepper and his Megamark Guards kill Rafe as he protects Astoria, his unrequited love. In Jax’s grief over his death a new relationship blossoms with Colt, one that changes her life forever. Though the price paid for her brother’s freedom is extreme, Jax saves not only her brother, but all of Metro City’s children from life in a dying city.

As Jax and Colt bond, they discover the ECOS secrets for saving the planet and put their ancestors’ plan into action as they start a new life in Antarctica, the new sustainable continent. Culpepper starts a new life too, one he never envisioned for himself— stinking, dowsed in darkness and scratching through the alleys of Metro City for food— the life of a sewer rat!


"We are orphans. We use our brains and our bodies to survive. But the only things that thrive inMetro City are the rats, and not all of them are rodents."

                                                                                               Jax Stone

Chapter One

Whoever said the teen years were the best of a girl's life didn't come from Metro City. Hell, they can't imagine what it's like to be me, living in a sewer tunnel by day, and foraging the forest for food or scavenging through abandoned mansions at night. Anything I find that I can't use to survive this hellhole I trade for money.

And then, there's the Megamark Guards who patrol this dying city. I avoid them at all cost. One never knows when they'll turn on an innocent person. I've seen them beat up the homeless on a wager or for sheer entertainment. No, it's not an easy life.

We used to live in brick houses and modern apartments, but the sun's savage rays turned our lives upside down. It took a while to get used to sleeping in the day, but night, as dangerous as it is, is the only time we can venture to the surface to seek food or trade our services.

Between the vindictive Guards and the deadly daytime sun, I spend half my time surviving, and the other half planning how to. If this is the best part of my life, I might as well be dead. Only one thing keeps me alive . . .

View the book trailer!

Author, Gayle C. Krause

Where you can buy the book!
Amazon...Kindle and paperback
Barnes & Noble...Nook book
Kobo...if you do Swagbucks, the current offer for Kobo is 4SB per dollar. :-)

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5