Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roxy Rogers: Your Destiny Is Calling Book Blast

Roxy Rogers cover  

About the Book

Title: Roxy Rogers: Your Destiny is Calling | Author: Emily Siskin-Toy | Illustrator: Brian C. Krümm | Publication Date: August 24, 2014 | Publisher: Three-Bug Books | Pages:32 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 9
Summary: What happens when a young girl with a Hall of Fame baseball pedigree breaks the family mold and follows her dream to become a soul singer? "Roxy Rogers: Your Destiny Is Calling", a picture book for ages 6 - 9, lets children see that their families will love them just the same when they pursue their true passions in life. Everybody in Roxy's family--from her great-grandpa (played with Lou Gehrig), to her grandpa (played with Jackie Robinson), to her mother (super-star college softball player), to her father (was a Los Angeles Dodger), to her sister (won a Gold Medal for Team USA Softball, and so on)--famously played ball, and Roxy is next in line. The only problem is that Roxy dreams of singing soul music like her idol, Aretha Franklin! A historical addendum provides information about the Hall of Fame baseball players who turn up in the book, as well as Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul music. Additionally, a fun treasure hunt for clues about Roxy's true destiny runs throughout the book, giving readers an enhanced, interactive experience.  

Sneak Peek

Roxy Rogers Inside Page 3 Roxy Rogers Inside Page 2 Roxy Rogers Inside Page 1  


Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | Kobo | iTunes


The Early Buzz

"I just LOVED this little book. Empowering for young girls, and at the same time powerful for young boys... The illustrations are perfect for this book: fun and eye-grabbing, and I also love that it includes facts about popular icons like Aretha Franklin and Baseball legends. Well done! " ~ 5 Star Review, Mariana L., Amazon
"Roxie Rogers is an inspiring read for all ages, truly. It speaks to that little voice inside all of us telling us "come out" to the real you. The artwork brings the story to life, and the text is great for read-along or for young readers on their own." ~ 5 Star Review, Laura, Amazon
"I just read Roxy Rogers to my 5-year old daughter and we both loved the book! The story was fun and engaging filled with dynamic illustrations. Besides the great life messages woven into the story, I really like how the story reads. It is really nice to experience a children’s book that is not mind numbing in its repetitiveness (you know the type) with words that flow easily off the pages. " ~ 5 Star Review, Wendigo, Amazon

About the Author: Emily Siskin-Toy

Emily Siskin-ToyA U.C. Santa Cruz banana slug alum, Emily Siskin-Toy launched her writing career with posts at various film and television magazines in Los Angeles. After a break in the action to raise her daughter, Emily and her college sweetheart founded WOW! Music Studios, a successful children’s music instruction school in Mill Valley, California. But just like the character in her book, Emily’s true passion was something entirely different; she always dreamed of writing children’s books. Inspiration was everywhere for Roxy Rogers: Your Destiny Is Calling. While coaching her daughter’s youth softball and basketball teams, Emily eventually came to realize that the world of sports was a passion of hers, not her daughter’s, who really wanted, of course, to be a singer. The plot of the story was right in front of her, and the surrounding details would be cultivated from her lifetime of love for the rich history of Major League Baseball and her daughter’s love of music.  

Website | Author Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest closes: October 30, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the Emily Siskin-Toy and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Review Of E-Day By D. T. Dyllin


Title: E-Day 
Author: D.T. Dyllin 
Series: M-Day #2 
Genre: Dystopian Romance 
Publisher: Tik Tok Press 
Cover artist: Lindsay Tiry 
Release Date: August 10, 2014

M-Day was the dawn of a brand new harsher world. A world where old lives could be left behind and secrets buried for good. At least that’s exactly what Tammie Miles had planned. But even with her new identity as Evo, she discovers that your past is never far. When a man from her old life tracks her down, will she risk everything to keep her secrets? Or will she finally learn that maybe even she can love the right man?

My Review: I loved this book. Intense. Action. Adventure. Romance. Evo is an aggressive character, fighting for and with those she loves in a world that has bee taken over by a virus. Small excerpt that I liked. They had already won this battle I had to admit to myself, we just would't let them win the war. The best way to do that was to stay alive to fight another day. (That's what these characters did) Thank you, D. T. for a good read. I look forward to reading more books by this author. 

The Author
D.T. Dyllin is a Bestselling Romance Author who writes in both New Adult and Adult genres. She is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and also her local chapter, the MCRW (Music City Romance Writers).

 D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two spoiled GSDs.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Soul To Shine By Jennifer Ott Book Tour & Giveaway


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 9/11/14 – 10/9/14
Genres: Literary Fiction, New Adult

About the Book:

“You and I are now time itself, not just the city,
The whole world is taking part in our decision.
We are more than just the two of us now.
We embody something.
We are sitting in the People’s Square
And it’s full of people with the same dream as ours.
We define the game for all.
I’m ready.”
Wings of Desire
Wim Wenders
Peter Handke

From the outside, starlet Olivia Hammond has it all—fame, fortune and a Hollywood hunk boyfriend. No one suspects her rising self-doubts and anxieties. In order to escape the realities of her chaotic world, she dives into an Oscar quality role of a young woman trapped in the horrors of postwar Berlin. It is here that Olivia feels most comfortable.
Her real and fictional lives collide when the director casts Dimitri Malakhov, a Russian porn star, as her costar. She immediately fears her image and reputation will be tainted. Personally and professionally, she must face what frightens her most—exposing herself, her fears, her imperfections and her desires to the world.
The experience of filming the movie with Dimitri and being on location in Berlin destroys her prejudices and judgments. It shatters all her illusions and perceptions. When liberated from her own confines, her life and love truly shine.
Manchmal das Herz muss zerstört werden, um zu heilen.
Sometimes the heart needs to be broken in order to heal.

Wings of Desire
The theater was surprisingly crowded for a weekday afternoon. Olivia wondered if the patrons were tourists or Berliners. From the voices, she heard they were mostly native. Olivia paid for their tickets. Dimitri bought a round of beers and the two found seats in the darkened theater.
Both were sullen and quiet as other people entered to watch the movie. Olivia listened to the soft German whispers. She glanced at Dimitri, who seemed a mile away. There was no doubt his mind was on Daniella. It had to be the worst feeling, making love to a man knowing he loved another woman. Guilt, shame and overwhelming disappointment shrouded her once liberated mood.
Soon after the movie began, Olivia started to cry, but it wasn’t the movie. She felt as though she was watching her own life. Why am I me? Why am I not you? Who am I? The questions were so complex, yet so simple. If the questions were so simple, why are they so hard to answer?
She didn’t remember when sadness annexed her life, but she was able to see it in pictures and hear it in her voice. She became crass and blunt. What was it that made me this way? Was it really Trent? I care for him. He is a good man. Is it movies? Is it the fans, the media? There was really no one she could blame her angst on; it just existed inside her. Numbness arose when there was no release. Sex became unfulfilling. The limelight ceased to excite. Designer gowns did not differ from ten-dollar rags. The movies she made no longer inspired.
Wings of Desire character Marion struck her deeply—the winged beauty on the trapeze. She flew so high and with ease for everyone to admire, but inside she was haunted by sadness and fear. No one saw her pain; she never showed it, yet every performance she thought of letting go and falling to her death. Every performance was a near act of suicide. This is my life, Olivia thought.
Buy Links:

About the Author:

Inspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle.  In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.
Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! She recently published, Serenidipidus and Edge of Civilization. She also is the host of the SuperJenius Internet Radio show on Artist First radio Network.
Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.
Connect With Jennifer Ott:
The Super Jenius Show
There are two giveaways on this tour! Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card through Rafflecopter. Open internationally! Then, enter to win one of two print copies of A Soul To Shine through Goodreads! This giveaway is restricted to residents of the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The giveaways will run the length of the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Soul To Shine by Jennifer Ott

A Soul To Shine

by Jennifer Ott

Giveaway ends October 10, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Review Of Falling For Leigh By Jennifer Snow


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 9/1/14 – 9/29/14
Genres: Sweet Romance, Contemporary Romance
Series: A Brookhollow Story


Can she be his cure for writer’s block? 

For New York novelist Logan Walters, falling for the girl next door was more than a cliché. It was a calamity! If Leigh Norris hadn’t been so attractive, and hadn’t been hammering relentlessly while he was trying to write, Logan would never have ascended her rickety ladder in a misguided mix of gallantry and frustration. And he wouldn’t have a broken wrist—or a guilty new assistant who can’t type. Clearly, his escape to the Brookhollow B and B was not going to be the quiet, idyllic retreat he needed to finish his overdue manuscript. But it was fast becoming much more interesting than expected….

See the book trailer on Youtube


“I…uh…hired a typist.”
His agent snorted over the phone. “You’re lying.”
“No, really I did.” He and Leigh hadn’t exactly talked about payment, except for his brief mention of it at the haunted hike, but he certainly planned on compensating her for her time and help. Of course, he’d rather show her his gratitude in other ways, like taking her out on a real date, telling her how wonderful she was and helping to erase some of the pain in her past.
“From what agency?” Clive still sounded suspicious.
“No agency. She’s just a woman who lives here in Brookhollow, next door to the B and B.” It was such an understatement, Logan was almost embarrassed by the lie. But what could he tell Clive? That he was getting help from a woman he was falling in love with in the small town? Clive would for sure give up on him, thinking he’d lost his mind.
“Not the same woman who pushed you off a ladder?”
“Actually, yes.”
Clive laughed. “Wow, way to call in the guilt favor.”

My Review: I loved this sweet romance book. Leigh and Logan are not really looking to fall in love. They are each looking for something different in their lives, but actually the same, a family. Leigh and Logan are great characters that I could connect with. 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble

About The Author: 

Jennifer Snow is an Edmonton based author writing sweet contemporary romance fiction through Harlequin Heartwarming, The Wild Rose Press and Secret Cravings Publishing. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. More information can be found on her website www.jennifersnowauthor.com

Connect With Jennifer Snow:



One winner will win an e-book copy of Falling for Leigh at each tour stop! Author Jennifer Snow is also giving away five swag packs, and each pack will include:

~ Signed print copies of What A Girl Wants, Falling for Leigh, and Mistletoe Bachelors
~ A Brookhollow lip gloss
~ A nail file
~ A comb and mirror set

To enter, simply leave a comment on the tour post with your email address. To increase your chances of winning, follow the tour and comment at each stop! Winners will be randomly selected by the author at the end of the tour. Open internationally.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Review Of The Adventures Of Lovable Lobo Lobo Goes To The Galapagos

Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C. L. Murphy

About the Book

Title: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos (The Adventures of Lovable Lobo) | Author: C.L. Murphy | Publication Date: August 27, 2014 | Publisher: Peanut Butter Prose | Pages:32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 7
Summary: Lobo returns in this adventure, sweeter and a bit salty this time. This lil' wolf pup finds that there's nothing like a little sea air to bring out the best in him and his unlikely tag-alongs. Take a trip to the Galapagos with Lobo and his right-hand raven, Roxy, as they help an injured, new feathered friend return home. Lobo faces some fears and witnesses the joy that comes from helping others in this "birds of a different feather DO flock together" tale.  

Book Preview



Amazon | iTunes

 My Review:  Lobo and Roxy help Bobby find his way home. Along the way they meet new friends. I love the way Roxy repeats things. good read for ages 2 -6. 

The Buzz

"Who knew geography and learning about animals could be this much fun? Lobo Goes to the Galapagos is my new favorite children's book and is highly recommended. " ~ Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite
"While Ms, Murphy's uniquely whimsical and vibrant illustrative style is perfectly suited for the wild, tropical feel of this colorful book, and easily captures young readers' attention, there is also a subtle, quiet beauty to the storyline's overarching themes of friendship, trust, perseverance, and goodwill. Lobo's tenacious and giving spirit are delightfully captured in this fifth installment of puppy-fueled fun. In fact, it's sincerely so easy to fall in love with "Lovable" Lobo that I'd happily follow this well-meaning, big-hearted, wolf pup to the very ends of the earth!" ~ 5 Star Review, Indie Author Girl, Amazon
"What an adorable story! I read this to my nephew and he couldn't stop giggling at the silliness of Roxy as well as Lobo's cute friends Bobby, Sunny, Coconut and Sandra. The author was very clever in portraying a tale of friendship, adventure and excitement that is sure to enthuse young minds around the world." ~ 5 Star Review, Gina D., Amazon

About the Author: C.L. Murphy

C.L.MurphyWhile new to the children’s book writing and illustrating scene, C.L. Murphy (Cathy) has been doodling her way through life since she won a school wide poster contest in the third grade. She’s had the pleasure of working as an artist in residence, creating cartoons and painting murals with the children at local elementary schools. She adores the wonder and curiosity of young children. She feels that creating picture books is something that she was destined to do, after years of filing away so many ideas, while raising her two sons. She is a member of SCBWI. She lives amongst the wildlife in an enchanted forest in the beautiful Oregon wilderness with her husband and menagerie. She has always appreciated nature and animals have always played a major role in her life. The inspiration for the Lovable Lobo character came from a wolf that she raised for over 14 years. Check out her book series and discover that you, too, will find Lobo lovable.

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice) Contest Ends: October 23, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by C.L. Murphy and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Monday, September 22, 2014

Exlixir Bound By Katie L. Carroll

YA fantasy
by Katie L. Carroll

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

 Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

Signed paperback giveaway on Goodreads until September 28: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15821579-elixir-bound

 About the Author:
Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote ELIXIR BOUND and the forthcoming ELIXIR SAVED so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at www.katielcarroll.com and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Review Of Lycanthor The Werewolf The Dragon Fyre Blade Book 1 By Aiden Storm

About the Book

Title: Lycanthor the Werewolf (The Dragon Fyre Blade, Book 1)  |  Author: Aiden Storm  |  Illustrator:McCartney Leopardi  |  Publication Date: July 1, 2014  |  Publisher: Dreaming Empire  |  Pages: 71 |  Recommended Ages: 7 to 12
Summary: Thirteen year old Jack is spending the summer at his Aunt’s house in the country. Unfortunately, it’s done nothing but rain and he’s stuck in her old mansion without cable or internet. Bored and alone, he sets out to explore the house. When he reaches the attic, he finds an intricate and unusual mural painted on the walls. Life for Jack gets turned upside down when he stumbles and is transported through a portal into a magical world.
For Jasyra, the daughter of the High King, life couldn’t be worse. Her father has been turned to glass, her kingdom has been taken over by the Demon Emperor, and she and her friend, Evooku, have been exiled. The only way to save the land is to reassemble the Dragon Fyre Blade, but the Demon Emperor has hidden all six pieces and each is guarded by great mythical beasts. There is only one person who can help restore peace, but it has been said that he is not of their land.
When Jack awakens in the Great Forest of Karandur, he encounters Jasyra and Evooku. He discovers the only way home is to band together to fight the evil Lycanthor, a giant werewolf that guards a piece of the Dragon Fyre Blade. But first they have to make it through an enchanted land full of danger.
The Queen of Light appears to Jack and delivers a gift, as well as a revelation. He, Jasyra and Evooku form an unlikely friendship along the way and lasting bonds are made when they realize they are Karandur’s only hope. Will the trio be able to defeat Lycanthor and save the kingdom from an eternity of despair?
The Dragon Fyre Blade: Lycanthor the Werewolf is the first book in a series of six and is written for children 7 – 11 years old.
My Review: This is a great book. Jack enters this new adventurous world. Only he can take the pieces of the sword to the Forbidden Forge and reunite the pieces. With the power of Dragon Fyre, he can battle the Demon Emperor and restore balance. Finding the pieces will be dangerous. Jack nearly died may times, he faced scary beasts, ghosts, and fought a werewolf. Great adventure book for boys 7 - 12.

The Buzz About the Book

“I am eight years old and I liked this book because of how the author described everything so well. It is a very exciting, adventurous and magical story about a 13-year-old boy named Jack and his usual companions as they struggle against Lycanthor the werewolf to get the Dragon Fyre Blade pieces to help them defeat the Demon Emperor.  My favourite part was when the author described the mural painting that Jack fell into. It was unique and painted vivid pictures in my head. The book was magical and interesting to read which made it so much fun. I think this is a great book for anyone who is looking for a magical adventure, and I can’t wait to read the second book!” ~ 5 Star Review, Carolyn, Amazon
“Couldn’t put this book down. I had me on the edge of my seat for the whole book. I read it so fast I was sad when it was over. I can’t wait for book 2!! ” ~ 5 Star Review, Pedroluis, Amazon
“My nine year old son is a fairly reluctant reader but we came across The Dragon Fyre Blade: Lycanthor the Werewolf at amazon and decided to read it based on the reviews. It reminds me a lot of the Beast Quest series of books and has an action-packed approach that my son enjoyed. You find yourself cheering for Jack, Jasyra and Evooku the heroes of the tale. There are several cliff hanger chapters that had my son wanting to read more… A worthwhile read for boys.” ~ 5 Star Review, nickalous, Amazon
“This is an enchanting and amazing book. I read it to my daughter and we both loved it. It is a mythical tale and it is so gripping. The story line is great and the characters are very well formed.” ~ 5 Star Review, PaigeTurner, Amazon
“Aiden Storm has written a book that will no doubt be a hit with 8 to 12 year old readers. The first book in a new series, Lycanthor the Werewolf sees a modern day boy named Jack set forth to retrieve the ancient Dragon Fyre Blade. It’s a lighter read filled with magic, action and a terrifying werewolf. The heroes have to use all their skills and abilities to battle the beast. Highly recommend this book for anyone with boys. It’s a natural choice for reluctant readers.” ~ 5 Star Review, Nita, Amazon

About the Author: Aiden Storm

Aiden Storm Avatar

Aiden grew up a city boy, but always loved getting out into the country. As a kid, his great uncle always took him to old castles, famous battlegrounds and long hikes in the wilderness. These days, Aiden lives in old cottage next to the forest with his dog Blade. When not writing Aiden spends time exploring the woods, dead certain they’re full of fantastical creatures, long lost relics and ancient magic…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 2014 $229/Kindle Fire Giveaway

September $229 Giveaway
229 giveaway   It’s time for September’s $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader. We are giving away 2 great prizes both valued at $229. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!   The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.  
Win a Kindle Fire HDX 7", Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
Each of these bloggers/authors paid to help sponsor this giveaway.   Sponsor List I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader A & E Kirk, Author Inspired Kathy Lori's Reading Corner Talia Jager, Author Mother Daughter Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager Every Free Chance Books Romance Under Fire I Love to Read and Review Books :) Christine's Blog Elizabeth Isaacs Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Pauline Creeden, Author Author - Cindy A Christiansen Mama Monkey Craftology MoreThanaReview My Devotional Thoughts Author Suzy Turner Jenn @ Bookreviewsandgiveaways Too-Clever Danielle @ Coffee and Characters Author D.E. Haggerty C Family of 6 Bella Street Weird Romance Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance Sid Frost YA Author Fabio Bueno Read for your future Jennifer Laurens Author Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE Reviews from a Bookworm Helen Smith (author) Author Deb Atwood Author Claudia Burgoa Start Publishing Elizabeth Isaacs True North Publishing Whiskey Creek Press Deanna Lynn Sletten, Author Luthando Coeur Bette Lee Crosby Against Idleness & Mischief (BOOKTUBE) BookBunnyPR Victoria Allred
Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 9/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Review Of Black Cats And Ballet Slippers By Iva Valentino


Okay, so something REALLY strange is going on. Boys are from a different planet, but right now a few of them at Middleton are acting like they’re from a different universe. (Wait. Does this make sense? Is there more than one universe? Ugh. Maybe I should have paid more attention last year in Astronomy.)
So, by the time I got to Ms. Pruett’s class, I had already worked myself into a super version of “I Don’t Wanna Go To Class Because I’m Creeped Out!” mode. I walked into the Science Laboratory, and I swear I felt the cold of Building 400 smack me right in the face. I’m not kidding.
Of course Ms. Pruett was at the door, acting like her sweet old lady self (ha ha, I know better), and was welcoming all the kids into the classroom. I just kept my head down and muttered a hello as I passed. Staying below the radar was the goal. Then I sat down at my lab table and shivered a bit.
Joey sat down at the table just a second later. Normally he is really loud and obnoxious, cracking jokes, and calling to the other Soccer Jocks across the room. Today he was quiet.
“Hey,” I said, trying to be friendly. I thought maybe we could commiserate on us both having spells cast on us. Joey responded with a “hey” but didn’t say much else. Hello? Was this the Joey I knew?
“So, Joey, are you feeling okay?” I asked. “You know, after yesterday…”
Joey didn’t say anything, but began writing on a piece of paper. He folded up the piece of paper and passed it to me. I gave him a questioning look. He gave me a weird look back that I couldn’t decipher. The note was as follows:
     Hey Gemma,
     Sorry I gave you a hard time yesterday about the “Cute Boy” list. It was kind of rude of me.
That’s when it hit me that Joey hadn’t recovered from Ms. Pruett’s spell. For me it was just temporary, like a few minutes. But Joey was acting weird. It had to be the spell.
“Um, thanks,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.” I then started taking out all my school stuff so that I could look busy and not have any more awkward moments with Joey until he felt better. He was taking longer to recuperate.
After class I headed straight down toward the lunchroom. On the way there, I saw Trevor going in the opposite direction past me. Our conversation went like this:
            Me: “Hi Trevor!” (with a big smile and enthusiasm)
            Trevor: “Oh, hi Gemma.” (with zombie-like attitude)
            Me: “Okay, have a good lunch!”
            Trevor: “Okay, thanks. Bye.”
            I wondered where he was going, in the opposite direction from the lunch room when it was lunchtime. It took me another couple of moments to realize that the ONLY classroom in that part of campus was Ms. Pruett’s room. He was headed back toward Building 400!
            Yikes! I turned myself around in mid-stride and turned back the way I came. I knew there was no way possible that Trevor would be going to Ms. Pruett’s. Why would anyone in their right mind be going there by themselves?
            I didn’t want Trevor to think I was stalking him, because of course I would never do that. But just in case that’s what it appeared to be, I used as much stealth as possible. I walked in the shadows and stopped to peek out behind bushes and building walls. I saw him up ahead…just before he ENTERED MS. PRUETT’S CLASSROOM.
            My mouth fell open, and I just sort of stared at the door for a while.
            Weird things are going on here at Middleton. And I think Ms. Pruett’s behind it all!
My Review. I loved this book. Gemma is such a fun character. I enjoyed reading her diary and seeing the world through her eyes. I think it is funny how Gemma thinks her teacher is a witch and putting spells on students. Thanks, Iva, for an entertaining read. 

1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.

Black Cats and Ballet Slippers is a humorous tween chapter book. Gemma Mayfield, the main character, is a ballerina and middle school student. She is convinced her teacher is a witch. After her crush, Trevor, has a spell cast upon him, Gemma embarks on a mission to save Middleton Middle School from witchcraft!

The idea for Black Cats came about during my last year of teaching middle school. In the book, Gemma’s science teacher, Ms. Pruett, has a really creepy classroom. The classroom has a preproom with lots of “witchy” things, such as powdered unicorn horn and other ingredients for spells. In my classroom, I also had a big preproom. My classroom was actually very nice and not creepy at all, but over time my imagination took over. I started to envision this preproom as being Ms. Pruett’s. From there on, the rest of the storyline for Black Cats started to brew!

2. What three words best describe your main character?

Spunky, ballerina, super-tall

3. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names, and what do you think makes them believable?

I spend a lot of time brainstorming my characters. I like to let the ideas for characters “marinate” in my mind for a bit. Then I’ll sit down and write as much as I can about them in a notebook, which I’ll keep with me in my purse. This way I have it handy whenever more ideas come to me. Once I’ve started writing the book, I’ll go more in depth. A strategy I’ve used before is to write a letter in the character’s own voice, or simply write a scene in which a particular character is doing something. Character names also just seem to pop out at me. I hardly ever change a character’s name! I’ve worked with kids in this age range for a long time, and I think that has helped me to keep my characters believable.

4. Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?

I really like to outline and get a good idea of my character’s personalities before I write. But of course there are times in which I change things around a bit, or I decide to add in something I hadn’t thought of before. I definitely think characters can take on a life of their own! Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of writing and I’ll think, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if so-and-so said or did THIS!?” And then this might affect the plot somewhat. I think overall it’s important to be flexible so the characters and plot seem realistic, but not diverge from the original idea so much that you end up  getting lost.  

5. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

There are many times when I feel like I’m not being as productive in my writing as I’d like to be in a given day. Some days my writing seems great, and I think EVERYTHING sounds fabulous! And then there are other days in which I wonder if I’ve been sleeping while writing. I just try to be nice to myself.  On days that I don’t feel the writing is going well, I will just give myself a time limit, and try to do the best I can.

6. What types of books do you like to read?

I enjoy a variety of genres of books. I really love books that are funny. I tend to choose books that are part of a series. I get hooked on the characters, and then I want to keep reading more about them! I read a lot of YA novels, and recently I have been getting into more science fiction/fantasy.

7. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I live in Tucson, Arizona, where it’s possible to do fun, outdoorsy things all year round. My husband and I frequently take our dog, Lupo, on hikes through the desert. I enjoy yoga, photography, and cooking. And I LOVE  dance—I don’t feel like my week is complete unless I’ve taken at least one Zumba class!

8. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I’m currently working on a sequel for Black Cats. This next book doesn’t involve a mystery, but the entire gang will be back for some more fun at Middleton Middle School. I’m looking forward to introducing some new characters!

Oh, good. I look forward to reading more about Gemma and her friends.

9. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Keep writing every day! Even if you don’t feel like it.

10. Where can readers find you and your books?

Please come visit me at the following sites!

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Review Of Visions The Nightmare Series By Donna Jean McDunn

Back Cover
Emily's psychic abilities have grown since the acceptance of her “gift” and the defeat of the father and son sociopaths, the Nelsons, whom she has sent away to prison for life.
But when an old friend of her boyfriend, Tony, comes to Charles City, Emily is suspicious and fears things may not be as they seem. Something, or someone, a “Shadow” of darkness, appears to be taking over the bodies of new friends and old.
Then Max, Emily’s murdered dog from her childhood, suddenly comes onto the scene. Emily is certain the ghost dog’s presence means big trouble is brewing.
As her fears grow, the arrival of a young murder victim, adds to her stress, but she vows to find a way to help the child, no matter what.
Her visions aren’t working and only adding to her confusion.
A young man shows up, ostensibly to be of assistance. He claims to be her ‘soulmate’ of sorts. But is he? Or is he simply symbolic of more trouble on the horizon for Emily and her true love?
Will Emily accept his help to protect those most important to her from an evil, vengeful ghost, and prevent him from turning the innocent into killers?
And will she discover where the child’s body is hidden and who killed her, so the young girl and her family can finally have peace? Perhaps, in this case, only the “Shadow” knows.  
My Review: I loved this book. Emotional. Emily can see and talk to ghosts. It's scary when an evil spirit takes over her boyfriend. She needs to solve the mystery behind a little girls death. Ghosts. Ghost dog. Evil spirit. Romance. Great friends. All these elements make this story a great read. I look forward to reading more books by Donna Jean McDunn.