Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Winner for The Guardian's Keeper!

Sorry I am late posting this, but we do have a winner for the Guardian's Keeper giveaway!  

Drummmmmmmmmmmmmmm rolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

The winner is Ursula!!! She won by following me on twitter!

Congrats Ursula!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Mine by John A. Heldt

From Amazon(image and blurb):
In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

John had requested that I read and review The Mine. The time travel plot caught my attention, and so I agreed.

Overall The Mine is a good read.  Going back in time and visiting 1941 was quite interesting.  Heldt did a good job transporting the reader to 1941 and giving us a glimpse of what it was like right before WWII.  It was interesting to see how Joel adapted from modern times to 1941.  Some things I don't think I would have thought about, but Heldt did and that also helped to make the story more plausible.

Let me tell you the ending is very emotional as Joel had to make decisions.  The ending is quite a twist that I thought was great!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Defiant Heart by Marty Steere

From Steere's request:

Set against the backdrop of small town America on the eve of World War II, it features two extraordinary characters and one unforgettable love story. 
In the spring of 1941, young Jon Meyer’s family dies in a tragic accident, and he is sent to live in a small Indiana town.  He arrives to find himself unwanted and shunned. 
Mary Dahlgren is the mayor’s daughter.  A pretty girl, she could have the pick of the boys in town, including Vernon King, the star of the vaunted high school basketball team.  To the chagrin of her friends, though, Mary has always been more interested in books than boys.  That is, until she meets Jon. 
But Jon and Mary are kept apart through the efforts of Mary’s father, who perceives their relationship a threat to his political aspirations, and Vernon, to whom Jon is a rival for Mary’s affections.  For months Jon is subjected to a painful ostracism.  Then, just when the young man’s earnestness and perseverance begin to win over many of the townsfolk and it appears that love may conquer all, tragedy strikes. 
As the country is caught up in war, so too are the young lovers swept up in events beyond their control, leaving both fighting for their very lives.  If, against the odds, they are to be together, each will need to find the strength, the courage and the resourcefulness that beat only in a defiant heart. 

Steere had requested a review of Defiant Heart, it had caught my attention so I had agreed.  Sometimes I can be a sucker for a good love story.

Let me tell you this one will have you on a roller coaster ride!  The story starts of with an unfortunate accident, which grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go until the end.  It moves at a good pace and the description of the war was intense.

Jon and Mary are fantastic characters!  Steere has you feeling sorry for them, and then cheering for them! Plus there are several other characters I just loved as well.  Even ones that I didn't like at first, but then an ah-ha moment happened and I came to care for them too! And let me tell you the ending is definitely a worthy ending to keep reading!

So if you can't tell I really enjoyed this book!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

T.R. Raven and a giveaway!!

T.R. Raven decided to stop by and post a little something for you all to enjoy!  Also if you get to the end you will see a giveaway!!

Allow me to share a dirty little secret with you that we fiction authors live with day in and day out–we lead double lives. Sometimes triple or even quadruple lives. No, we don’t have secret families in another state and we’re not double agents. As we go about our daily lives–working, caring for our families, and socializing with our friends–our ‘other lives’ are always lurking in the backs of our minds. You know them as our books, but to us authors, they are an extension of who we are and they bleed into our real lives at all hours of the day and night. They often don’t have the courtesy to do it one at a time, either. It’s not uncommon have multiple separate ideas simmering away all at once, each jockeying for our attention so that they may come to fruition first.
These other lives we live in our own heads start as a seed, just a wisp of an idea, and eventually they blossom into the stories we pen. It all begins with a character born in our imaginations or a scenario waiting for its players to come to light. Over time these ideas grow and spread their roots. We don’t get to choose when these ideas spring forth. It’s often at the most inopportune times, like when we’re in the middle of a parent-teacher conference or our spouse’s company Holiday party. When an idea comes it either takes root or branches off into another idea and we’re at its mercy until we put it out there for the world to enjoy.
The Guardian Trilogy was born in this manner. I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel for a while but I could never pin down which idea to bring to life first. One early evening while making the 100 mile drive home after visiting an out-of-state relative, The Guardian Trilogy came together piece by piece in my mind as the miles passed.
There I was, on the road in the New England dusk with two young children in the car. I had to pull over every ten or fifteen miles to jot down notes in a little travel notebook I kept in my purse. As the miles passed, the story grew, and by the time I got home The Guardian’s Keeper was all there in my hastily scrabbled notes. The story was no longer just an idea. Claire, Nikoli and their story had taken root within me.
Life got busy, as it tends to do. I tucked that little notebook away in a drawer for quite a while. Months? Years? I’d be hard pressed to put an exact time on it now, but it was at least a year. I may have put that little notebook aside but the story kept beckoning to me. My drive to write shifted from something I wanted to do to something I needed to do. Ideas and thoughts about Claire, Nikoli and their journey would wake me up in the middle of the night and I’d lay there in the dark, lost in my own little world that was begging to be brought forth into reality.
Eventually I gave in to my calling, and I haven’t stopped since. It’s like that for a lot of authors. We don’t decide, ‘I’m going to be an author’ and go to it…we become pushed into it by the stories in our heads that get ahold of us and won’t let go until we express them. We don’t get to choose, “I’m going to think about my next book this afternoon between 2:00 and 3:00”. The ideas come when they wish and stay until they’re done with us, not the other way around.
Now that the Trilogy is finished, I’ve had some readers inquire as to what’s next. A prequel? A Sequel expanding it past a Trilogy? Hmm…sometimes when I least expect it, a little shard of Nikoli and Giuliana’s time together, long before Claire, niggles away in the back of my brain. Will their story eventually disrupt my slumber or give me pause in the middle of the post office? Time will tell, but in the meantime I’ve got a girl unexpectedly tangled up with a pack of Lycans interrupting all else in my life. Watch for my new release, The Chosen, coming Oct. 2013.

The next time someone sits too long in front of you when the light turns green or spaces out in line at Target, try to cut them some slack. That person may just be an author or a soon-to-be-author grappling with the characters in their minds that may one day become some of your favorites!

Thanks T. R.!  Now for the exciting part....She is allowing me to giveaway an ebook from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble your choice!  The giveaway will run from Today(8/14) until the 21st and all you have to do is enter using the rafflecopter form below.  GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Guardian's Keeper by T.R. Raven

From Amazon: 
Kidnapped by the handsome young vampire Nikoli, eighteen year old Claire discovers she holds the relic capable of resurrecting the most dangerous vampire in history. She should be repulsed by her kidnapper, but instead she's irresistibly drawn to him-and he to her as well. Claire wants to explore their feelings for each other but Nikoli resists, worried their romance will distract him from his part in the dangerous task at hand.
Together they must seek the help of the Gypsy Queen Renka in order to destroy the relic. Their lives are on the line as they travel across the globe in search of Renka and her Gypsies while safeguarding the relic from those who would use it to resurrect their Master. 
Claire and Nikoli must also struggle with a possessive unwanted suitor, surprising news about Claire's lineage, and a meddling ancient Greek Goddess-all while holding the fate of the world in their hands. They must destroy the relic- but at what cost to them both? Is the Gypsy Queen's prophecy about their love true?

T.R. Raven approached me to review The Guardian's Keeper.  I had accepted since I do enjoy a good urban fantasy/paranormal book.  This was a different spin on the traditional vampire stories by adding in the Greek Goddess Circe. 

The story line moved very well, no real down times to get bored with it.  Also this is not one I would recommend for Middle Graders unless they are very mature as there are some sexual contact.  It doesn't go in depth but it is known the deed was done.  The sexual innuendos and contact didn't bother me, but helped to show the intimacy that was formed between Nikoli and Claire.

Now even though the romance is between a vampire and a human, do not count Claire out.  She definitely has spunk to her.  She isn't one to let things just completely happen.  She does try to fight for herself and for her odd relationship with Nikoli.  However that being said she is a human dealing with vampires so she isn't always able to protect herself and Nikoli does have to save her several times.

This is a great start to a series and looking forward to reading the rest!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Luminaire by Ciye Cho

From Goodreads(blurb and image):

Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans.

But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

This is the second book in the Florence Waverley  series.  You can see my review of Florence HERE.  I must say that both of the covers are very beautiful.  Don't you think!

I was very pleased with Luminaire, as it continued the story line of Florence and Niemela without the feeling of repeating Florence.  Even though it had been a year since I had read Florence I wasn't completely lost in the story line either.  Cho did great with reminding us what happened in book 1 without rewriting it.  I enjoyed seeing some of them appear as flashbacks as well!  Just as with Florence it is told from multiple perspectives but still left you guessing as to what was going on.  However unlike with Florence, I didn't feel that the story line took time to develop.  It definitely grab my attention from the beginning and held it until the end.  

Florence does continue to grow and tries to find her way, and even though she has helped the Niemela, she still isn't fully accepted.  This will sound crazy but to see that she isn't full accepted makes the social aspect of Niemela a little realistic.  Society doesn't always just accept a person because they help to save the day, there are still those that do not approve and will be loud enough to know how they feel.  With that being said it is still nice to also see people change their minds and realize that not always is the disapproval valid.

Again I totally recommend this as a great summer read!


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