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Monday, November 30, 2015

COYER Reading Challenge - Going Back to Basics - Dec. 19th, 2015 through Mar. 4th, 2016

Because Reading is better than real life

I'm just as guilty of grabbing those Kindle freebies as everyone else, so the COYER Challenge (Clean Out Your E-Reader) is a great time to actually get some of those read and reviewed (because if you're getting it for free, a review is a good way to give back).

The Challenge begins December 19th and runs through March 4th.  Click on the picture above to be taken to the sign up post and see all the details!  Come join us, the more the merrier!



Currently Reading:




1/20/16: I've been a lazy COYER participant this time! I have finished two books, but not written any reviews yet, so I still need to do that!

2/10/16: I have now finished 3 books, and written the review for Claus: Legend of the Fat Man!  I hope to catch up on reviews soon, I really enjoyed my other two reads, Nefertiti's Heart and Traitor's Masque, and plan to do a giveaway for Traitor's Masque, so stay tuned!

2/11/16: Traitor's Masque review and giveaway are live!

Judging by the Cover #1 - Artist: Scott M. Fischer

Welcome to my new feature, Judging by the Cover, where I will showcase some of my favorite artists that I've discovered through book cover art.
For my very first edition, I'd like to introduce you to Scott M. Fischer.  I discovered a favorite new author thanks to his cover art drawing my eye. That book was Grimspace by Ann Aguirre and his portrayal of Sirantha Jax, wild hair, desparate, crazed, broken but still trying expression, became how I pictured her in my mind as I read. I love the color contrasts he chooses, and the circular elements in the background, it all fits together to make the piece seem in motion to me. Killbox was another great cover in that series, really I loved them all, but those two are the ones that depicted the Sirantha Jax that I saw as I read Ann's fantastic story.

Scott's also done some Middle Grade and Children's books, as well as working with some well known clients we all know and love!  You can follow him on Facebook where he's been sharing some of his recent work, comic book covers for Dark Horse's Angel and Faith series, and also some beautiful paintings on metal.  Check out his official website HERE.

Let me know what you think!  Do you have favorite artists? Have you discovered authors by the cover art for their novels? 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Line (Witching Savannah #1) by J. D. Horn

From Goodreads:

Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man, the best friend who has loved her since childhood.

Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. But Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm.

A demon invasion looms now that the line is compromised. Worse yet, some within the witching world stand to gain from a demon takeover. Mercy, entangled in the dark magic of her love spell, fighting for her sister’s trust, and hopelessly without magic, must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of...

I'll be honest, I was ready to not like this. The reason is because part of the blurb that I didn't copy above turned me way off.

"Move over, Sookie Stackhouse—the witches of Savannah are the new talk of the South. Bold, flirty, and with a touch of darkness, debut author J.D. Horn spins a mesmerizing tale of a family of witches . . . and the problem that can arise from being so powerful. As Charlaine Harris’ series winds down—and as Deborah Harkness’ series heats up—Witching Savannah is new contemporary fantasy that will be sure to enchant new readers."

I'm sorry, but to me that's as pretentious as all get out, and it made me steer away from this one for a long time. It's riding on others coat tails. Maybe it gets the job done, the attention paid, but it makes me angry. Maybe the author had no say in that description, that's possible, I don't really know how that works. At any rate, I tried it out because I decided to try Kindle Prime and was having a hard time finding things that were on it that I wanted to read. The Line was available however, so I decided to give it a try, in spite of my ire at the blurb.

I was pleasantly surprised and found myself genuinely interested in the characters and what happened to them.  There were some twists I wasn't expecting and some I saw coming after big hints.  It could use more polish, some of the jumps between chapters seemed a little abrupt, or like we'd missed some time in between, I can't really explain why they seemed bigger than other books I've read.  As a debut, I think it was good.

All in all I did enjoy it.  I give it a 3.5/5 and would recommend it to fans of paranormal/witch stories, but do not expect Sookie Stackhouse, because it's not.  I haven't read the Deborah Harkness series yet, so I can't speak for that one, but to me, if they had left all reference to the other books out, that would have peaked my interest rather than irritated me because I wouldn't have felt like they were trying to capitalize on a reputation they hadn't earned.

I do really like the cover, the detail is neat and I like the style.  I look forward to seeing where the story goes next.  You can connect with J. D. Horn on his facebook page.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly

From Goodreads:

Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson gets plenty of entertainment from her extraordinary cats, Owen and Hercules. But when a theatre troupe stumbles into more tragedy than it bargained for, it’s up to Kathleen to play detective....

With her sort-of boyfriend Marcus calling it quits and her ex-boyfriend Andrew showing up out of the blue, Kathleen has more than enough drama to deal with—and that’s before a local theatre festival relocates to Mayville Heights. Now the town is buzzing with theatre folk, and many of them have their own private dramas with the director, Hugh Davis.

When Davis is found shot to death by the marina, he leaves behind evidence of blackmail and fraud, as well as an ensemble of suspects. Now Kathleen, with a little help from her feline friends Owen and Hercules, will have to catch the real killer before another victim takes a final curtain call.

Sofie, you're killing me! I really want to know more about how or why Owen and Hercules have their special abilities, and there's still nothing in this 5th installment of the Magical Cat mysteries! Our adorable feline sleuths are their usual precocious selves, using their furry wiles to uncover clues to the murder. Kathleen has a bit of a rocky start in this one, having just been injured in the last episode, and being in a rough patch with Marcus. The two of them find out they're a lot alike when the tables are turned and Marcus is the one with loved ones involved. In the meantime Kathleen's previous life before Mayville comes to call, one invited and one not. We're all prepared to dislike Andrew because of how he treated Kathleen before she came to our lovely little town, but strangely he's not a half bad guy. How much of that is real and how much is an act is hard to tell, but he seems to get roped into doing a lot of work for the festival, so I felt kind of bad for him that he was swimming upstream in his efforts to get Kathleen back to Boston. I did really like Kathleen's mother, Thea.  I kind of picture her like the mother in the Castle TV show, sweeping in all perfect and glamorous, but totally lovable.

While I still don't have any answers about our fuzzy boys, there was definite progress in Kathleen's life, decisions were made, and I really love the town of Mayville Heights.  It's small, but very artsy, with a Carnegie library and a great core group of residents that I've come to care about, plus there always seem to be lots of brownies and desserts and muffins and such floating around all the time! Who wouldn't love that?!

The next book in the series is holiday themed I think, so not sure if I'll squeeze it in this season or next, or if I'll be able to wait (Christmas in July maybe?) because I'm still holding out hope to learn more about our magical cats from Wysteria Hill!  Give these a try if you love cozies and cats, libraries and artistic communities, it's all there!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #8 - Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

It is hosted by Pen to Paper, just click on the button to the left if you'd like to join us!

From Goodreads:

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

I'm a fan of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, so I'm excited to give her return to Faery a read!  I liked Graveminder a lot too, and hope there will be more in that world as well!

What books are on your wishlist?  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Christmas Spirit Challenge (11/23-1/6) and Read-a-thon (11/23-11/29)

It's time to get our holiday reading going with The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (11/23-1/6) over at The Christmas Spirit,

kicked off with The Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon (11/23-11/29) over at Seasons of Reading.  Both blogs are run by Michelle the True Book Addict.

Come Join us!

I'm going to keep track of my progress for both here in this post. 

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon (11/23-11/29)


*Finish Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle
*Finish Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly finished 11/28
*Start (and hopefully finish) Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul - DNF'd at 60 pages
*Get farther in Doctor Who: The Drostan's Curse A.L. Kennedy

Christmas Spirit Challenge (11/23-1/6)

 Level: Mistletoe (2-4 Christmas books)

*Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle finished 12/3/15

*Naughty or Nice by Kenyon, Ryan, Phillips and Smith
*Unwrapped by Bangs, Dain and Henke
*Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski- started 1/4/16

Bonus Level: Fa la la la films

*White Christmas - watched 12/20/15
*The Nightmare before Christmas - watched 12/20/15
*Love Actually - watched 12/20/15
*Kung Fu Panda Holiday - watched 12/20/15

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

This was delightful and I can see why so many of my friends have enjoyed it! Alexia reminds me of a young Amelia Peabody (from the Egyptian mystery series by Elizabeth Peters) if you put her into a supernatural setting, with her scientific interests and no nonsense attitude. I loved her curiosity of the biological processes during the romantic interludes. I loved Lord Akeldama, with his cultivated foppish personality and his entourage, embodying don't judge a book by it's cover. I can tell that Alexia and I will have a lot more fun together, in defense of the realm of course! Poor Lord Maccon!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #7 - The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

It is hosted by Pen to Paper, just click on the button to the left if you'd like to join us!

From Goodreads:

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

I recently read In the Shadow of Blackbirds when it was offered as one of the Big Library Reads and was completely engaged in the story.  I had heard of The Cure for Dreaming already, as other friends had read it, but now having read Blackbirds, I'm very interested in giving Dreaming a try!

What books are on your wishlist?  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

From Goodreads:

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.

I had been eagerly awaiting getting my hands on this from the library as soon as I learned it existed. I love Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series so much that he's catapulted to one of my favorite authors.   What better combo could there be, a favorite author writing in one of the most iconic Sci-Fi worlds of our time, which I admittedly have not read many books set in, I think two previously to be honest.  So I was ready for greatness, but then the other reviews started rolling in, and they weren't all glowing.  Many were disappointed, I think basically expecting Iron Druid IN SPACE! and that wasn't what they got.

So I adjusted my sights, much like Armada in my previous review, and decided to appreciate it for what it was, because again, how could it possibly measure up to our expectations?  Here's why: Star Wars for crying out loud.  Like our expectations aren't already over the moon and out of the galaxy?  Especially with the Force Awakens looming on the horizon. Iron Druid is fabulous, because it's Kevin's world and he can do whatever he wants in it.  But Star Wars, whoa, not so fast.  Star Wars is this sacred, untouchable behemoth that must follow rules, with already established characters who must act a certain way.  Not only that, but this book is entirely from the point of view of one of the BIG THREE, Luke Skywalker.  I can only imagine Kevin's excitement and terror at writing this.  OMG Luke!  OMG What if I get it wrong?  Thinking about all of the constraints, Iron Druid isn't Sci-Fi by the way, it takes place on good ol' Earth, and also some meta physical planes, but NOT SPACE, I think he did a fine job and I really enjoyed it.  Luke seems a little goofy at times, but come on, he was goofy!  This takes place right after the first movie, when he's blown up the Death Star, but still has no real idea how to use The Force.  He's still young, and a strange mixture of seasoned from all the people he has lost, and the battles he's fought, but still naive in many ways.

I actually listened to the audio read by Marc Thompson and it was a lot of fun!  He does the different voices very well and I look forward to listening to more Star Wars books read by him.  There was also ongoing background noise, of the space ports, of the battles, and also R2-D2, because he's such a character in his own right.  It was sometimes distracting, and silly, like the dramatic music playing during the noodle episode, but I overall I liked it and it helped add to the Star Wars atmosphere.

I think we have a tendency to judge too many books by their predecessors in other genre's or content that isn't fair, it's judging apples and oranges.  I am also admittedly not a stickler for following canon, or getting the image exactly right.  I just want a good story in a world I enjoy and that's what I got here.  So right on Kevin, *high five* to you for getting to write a Star Wars book, I'm excited for you that you did and for me that I got to share it with you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon - November 12th - 17th 2015

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon

I'm taking part in the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon, hosted by The Bookshelfery and The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. If you'd like to join us grab some holiday or wintery themed reads and head on over to the sign up! All the rules and deets are there! Come chat with us at #HoHoHoRAT!

Here is my TBR for the read-a-thon:



11/12: 44 pages Holidays on Ice
11/13: 24 pages Holidays on Ice, 20 pages Aunt Dimity = 44 pages total
11/14: 56 pages Aunt Dimity, DNF'd Holidays on Ice
11/15: 104 pages Aunt Dimity
11/16: 34 pages Aunt Dimity (finished), 26 pages of Holiday Grind = 60 pages total
11/17: 36 pages Holiday Grind

Total Pages:  344, 57 pages per day
Books Finished: 1, Aunt Dimity's Christmas

Wishlist Wednesday #6 - The Geomancer (Vampire Empire #4) by Clay and Susan Griffith

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

It is hosted by Pen to Paper, just click on the button to the left if you'd like to join us!

From Goodreads:

The uneasy stalemate between vampires and humans is over. Adele and Gareth are bringing order to a free Britain, but bloody murders in London raise the specter that Adele's geomancy is failing and the vampires might return. A new power could tilt the balance back to the vampire clans. A deranged human called the Witchfinder has surfaced on the Continent, serving new vampire lords. This geomancer has found a way to make vampires immune to geomancy and intends to give his masters the ability to kill humans on a massive scale.

The apocalyptic event in Edinburgh weakened Adele's geomantic abilities. If the Witchfinder can use geomancy against humanity, she may not have the power to stop him. If she can't, there is nowhere beyond his reach and no one he cannot kill.

From a Britain struggling to rebuild to the vampire capital of Paris, from the heart of the Equatorian Empire to a vampire monastery in far-away Tibet, old friends and past enemies return. Unexpected allies and terrible new villains arise. Adele and Gareth fight side-by-side as always, but they can never be the same if they hope to survive.

I've enjoyed the story of Adele and Gareth so far, brought to us by this husband and wife author team.  I can't wait to continue their story and see what comes next!

What books are on your wishlist?  

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Armada by Ernest Cline

From Goodreads:

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

I adored Ready Player One. It wow-ed me in a way no other book had, I identified with nearly all the references and just loved everything about it. I wanted to be just as wow-ed by Armada. I pre-ordered the audio just as soon as I knew Wil Wheaton was narrating it, and I was excited to get into it. I did enjoy it. But I wasn't wow-ed. I was prepared for this, I had seen many reviews that weren't so high, and so I was ready to just enjoy it for what it was.  Ready Player One was a tough act to follow.  I don't want to call it a one trick pony, because I don't think that at all, and I'm still completely interested in whatever else Ernest Cline writes.  I love the culture references in both books, and the video game incorporation, but by the time we get to Armada, that aspect wasn't new any more (although used differently than in RPO, it still isn't a new concept, a la Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card) and I think that's part of the problem.  I think Armada is being judged by it's super student older sibling and that sibling's also amazing older friends and it wouldn't matter what it did, it couldn't measure up, if you know what I mean. 

I felt like we didn't have as much character development here, although I did like the characters it seemed like some of the more interesting ones we didn't get to know very well.  The ending message didn't pack quite as much of a punch as in RPO and it was just suspicious and abrupt. Armada is just a lighter book all the way around, but for all that, still enjoyable.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Ernest has up his sleeve next!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

My To Be Read List - November 2015 - Cat Detectives

And the winner by a landslide is... (drumroll)

Check back in a few weeks to see what mischief Owen, Hercules and I have gotten ourselves into this time!  Oh, and Kathleen too, we'll let her come along! ;)

Welcome to my November 2015 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Cat Detectives. Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you chose and why.

The poll will stay open through Friday 11/13 , and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 11/14, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 11/28.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...

 From Goodreads:

Midnight Louie, the best tomcat in the crime-solving business, and his human partner, petite redheaded publicist Temple Barr, are once again in the thick of things in the city of sin. The manager of the Crystal Phoenix, one of Las Vegas's premier vacation spot, has hired Temple Barr to help clean up the hotel's image, but soon more than the Phoenix's reputation is in danger. The phoenix becomes prey to mysterious saboteurs whose little pranks just happen to keep endangering Temple's life.

When Temple tangles with ex-priests, local police, FBI agents, obnoxious reporters, and a passel of semi-reformed mafiosi who wear pastel zoot suits, it's up to Midnight Louie to get her out of knot....before it's too late.

From Goodreads:

Curiosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy--and her human companion, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. Small towns are like families: Everyone lives very close together. . .and everyone keeps secrets. Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town-until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet's thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs. Murphy) and a Welsh Corgi (Tucker), a pending divorce, and a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her. When Crozet's citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message "Wish you were here" on the back. Intent on protecting their human friend, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker begin to scent out clues. Meanwhile, Harry is conducting her own investigation, unaware her pets are one step ahead of her. If only Mrs. Murphy could alert her somehow, Harry could uncover the culprit before the murder occurs--and before Harry finds herself on the killer's mailing list.
From Goodreads:

Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson gets plenty of entertainment from her extraordinary cats, Owen and Hercules. But when a theatre troupe stumbles into more tragedy than it bargained for, it’s up to Kathleen to play detective....

With her sort-of boyfriend Marcus calling it quits and her ex-boyfriend Andrew showing up out of the blue, Kathleen has more than enough drama to deal with—and that’s before a local theatre festival relocates to Mayville Heights. Now the town is buzzing with theatre folk, and many of them have their own private dramas with the director, Hugh Davis.

When Davis is found shot to death by the marina, he leaves behind evidence of blackmail and fraud, as well as an ensemble of suspects. Now Kathleen, with a little help from her feline friends Owen and Hercules, will have to catch the real killer before another victim takes a final curtain call.


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Convergence by Trudie L. Hayes - Guest Post and Giveaway


It was the first day of school and anxieties were running high. For certain​ ​there was the excitement of moving up a grade, but there was also the dread of anything and everything that could go wrong. Not only were the possibilities endless, they were totally out of your control. Whether or not you were accepted rested squarely on the shoulders of the popular kids. Suppose you were too short or too tall; too smart or not smart enough; too rich or too poor; or just plain different?

These thoughts were fresh on the minds of Otis, Chandler and Marissa. Three pre-teens whose paths had never crossed, although they lived in the same town in Connecticut. Their backgrounds were so diverse they may as well have lived worlds apart. That was all about to change when on their way to school a series of bizarre events lump them together. Literally!

Join them on this unreal journey to alternate realities never before re­vealed. Go back in time to a parallel past, the All Agos. Coexist in a present experience that mirrors your own, the Ne’er Now. Finally and with greater understanding, manifest in a future of your creation, the Will Be Once.

Then you will have come closer to achieving it should.

Today I am pleased to present a giveaway and guest post from Trudie L. Hayes in support of her book Convergence.

I asked Trudie to tell us about her inspiration and motivation for writing Convergence and also her favorite childhood authors:

The motivation for Convergence is my life. Strange answer given the premise of the book. But for me it was and still is therapeutic. The actual writing of the book and finishing something I started in and of itself was great. I also have an affinity with each of the characters and see myself in all of them.

Not only was completing the actual writing a form of therapy, many of the concepts explored therein are as well. I feel as though I may have attempted to over instill my metaphysical beliefs to the masses, but it is truly something I hold dear and feel so many could benefit from. I don't mean going around reciting mantra 24/7; or getting in the lotus position and shutting out outside influences.

Quite the contrary. I use a phrase in the book a lot and I think this sums it up well...from within to its without. Poetry to my ears. The meaning is personal to be interpreted as one sees fit. This has been a great journey I hope to repeat ad infinitum.

Favorite childhood authors included the usual--Dr. Seuss and the like. Funny thing is even then so many years ago I was consumed with matters of the mind; watching people, how they behave and listening to stories far beyond my chronological years.

Author Bio:

Trudie L. Hayes’ personal story and family life influenced her mission to spread the core values of self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-love to children and persons of all ages. An affiliation with physically and mentally disabled adults and children spanning many years is a major contributing factor. The caregiver role has been paramount throughout much of her life, even while furthering her education or working full-time in a corporate setting.

These experiences have given her a deep understanding of the trials and struggles associated with a compromised existence. As well as the inspiration and joy derived from living life to one's personal best.

It is through these myriad life experiences that Hayes began writing and registering several related trademarks. With a grander vision of promoting confidence and self-worth.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Hayes still calls the Nutmeg State home. The oldest of two children, she remains close to her siblings. When Hayes is not writing or managing her business, she dedicates her time to other creative outlets and artistic pursuits. Hayes has a deep appreciation and passion for music in its many forms; she enjoys writing song lyrics, performing, and has an affinity for Jazz.

You can connect with Trudie on Twitter as @LoveYourMe or at her website:


 Brought to you by:

Wishlist Wednesday #5: The Raven King (Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

It is hosted by Pen to Paper, just click on the button to the left if you'd like to join us!

From Goodreads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

I have really enjoyed The Raven Cycle so far, so The Raven King, is high up on my wishlist! It is due out February 23rd, 2016. I want to listen to the audio as I've really enjoyed the reader for the last three books.

What books are on your wishlist?  

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Princes of Ireland (Dublin Saga #1) by Edward Rutherfurd

The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edward Rutherfurd has an interesting and different way of telling a story. He takes an area, and instead of making the historical figures the focal point of the stories, he puts them on the periphery so that their influence is felt, but the true story of the land and it's people is told using mostly fictitious people living and interacting in that time period. He encompasses vast amounts of time by telling multiple stories that take place over the course of generations, in the same location, where traits of ancestors are passed on, hair color, eye color, mannerisms, and the stories of those ancestors evolve over time, just as their descendants do. I recommend his books to lovers of the historical epic, who enjoy getting the feel of an area and it's culture. There are always interesting and surprising historical tidbits that arise during the telling.

The Princes of Ireland begins around 430 AD when the Druids are still the ruling religious leaders and ends around 1534 AD during the reign of King Henry VIII. Rutherfurd makes history accessible and shows events from the people's point of view. I always end up going to look up events or people while reading his books, learning even more!

The story continues in The Rebels of Ireland.

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