Sunday, December 14, 2014

Soulwoven: Exile

Soulwoven:Exile is the continuing story of Litnig, Cole, Dil, Ryse and Quay. The story picks up right where the first ended. The group is trying to come to grips with the horror of losing Len and releasing Sherduan, a dragon of darkness and shadows, onto the world. 

The group breaks up and goes into different directions. Heading into the unknown to prepare the world for the darkness that is about to sweep it away. Ryse and Quay head towards Eldan to warn them of the danger. Dil and Cole find themselves as ambassadors. to the scary Pyrelle who hopes to lure the dragon with their presence. Litnig follows a beautiful woman into the wild  in order to learn more about himself and his race. 

This book is much darker then the previous novel as it's really about feeling torn down and how to rebuild yourself into a better version of yourself rather then let the darkness consume you. But even among all this darkness is the thought of redemption. Finding actions or learning to help make up for the mistakes of the past, learning to be better. I loved this book and the hope that lay between the lines.

Ryse and Quay find themselves in a dark place. Literally raped and broken. However the topic is handled with compassion and grace. I really felt the author captured the horror and helplessness of the situation as well as the strength it takes to rebuild yourself afterwards. It's hard to see characters you care about go through something so painful but it was handled really well with Ryse. Unfortunately, for me, Quay's story didn't really pick up much after the rape but I look forward to seeing how he moves forward. It took Ryse some very dramatic events to find the strength to move forward and I am excited to see how Quay handles the same sort of abuse. 

I would definitely say that this book is all about growth as well as learning to accept yourself for who you are, flaws/darkness and all. I really liked seeing the transition of this book from the first book as the threat of Sherduan becomes ever closing. 

Jeff Seymour captures the horror and brillance of the human spirit and makes you hunger for the next book!!! I definitely recommend this to anyone looking to get into a new epic story! 

Grab your copy at Amazon here!

You can also find out more about this great author

Friday, December 12, 2014

Guest Post by the Indomitable Jeff Seymour

The amazing sequel to Jeff Seymour's comes out today and I am lucky enough to share his words with you. Hopefully he forgives my inexperience in matters of guest posts and what not! When I had the chance to ask him anything I sadly could only think to ask how he came with the idea for the Soulwoven series and how he used Kickstarter to further his dreams of getting the story published. I feel so privileged that I actually got to speak with him. So here are his words! And look for my review of Soulwoven :Exile on Sunday!!

Soulwoven was conceived in the back of a school bus.

Racy, huh? The gestation period was pretty long though. It took more than ten years for the book to grow from a little blastocyst of an idea about a hero, his brother, and their friends into a story capable of eating, drinking, and breathing on its own.

Man, this birth thing is a better metaphor than I thought it’d be.

Anyway, the book (and its sequel, Soulwoven: Exile, out 12/12/2014), is primarily about identity, in no small part because it was conceived during years when I was actively forming mine. Every major character in the story loses something that anchors his or her identity, and the human element of the narrative (it’s also got dragons and magic and plenty of flash-bang-whiz) is about each of them trying to either reclaim it or replace it.

After all, that’s what drew me to fantasy. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) and Tanis Half-Elven (Dragonlance: Chronicles) gave me examples of people who were kind of like me struggling with their identities at a time when I really needed them, and I wanted to pass on the favor to a new generation of readers.

I've also learned, now that I’m older, that you never really stop forming and re-forming your identity. Or at least I haven’t yet, and even my 92-year-old grandmother’s not done. So I think stories about identity have value no matter your age or station in life.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the role of Kickstarter in Soulwoven’s life.

It was the midwife, really.

In 2012, after years of trying to get published traditionally, I embraced a shift in my identity as a writer and dove into the indie thing. Soulwoven was featured by, and it got enough interest there that I decided it was worth publishing on my own. I was leery of committing a lot of money to it (because I didn't have a lot of money to commit), so I turned to Kickstarter for help.

And Kickstarter was great. Eighty people contributed more than $3,000 to make publishing the book possible. That was all I needed. Eighty people. Try approaching a publisher with a manuscript and asking them for a $3,000 investment on the guarantee you’ll sell eighty books. See what happens.

Soulwoven launched quietly. It’s been a modest success commercially, about on par with what I would've expected if it had been published by a small press.

But artistically, it’s been a huge success. I've grown as a writer because I put out that novel, Soulwoven: Exile has benefited enormously from that growth. Not many writers are excited about seeing the first reviews come in for a new book. It’s supposed to be a terrifying experience.

It isn't for me.

Soulwoven was conceived in the back of a school bus. It was birthed with the help of a small community of wonderful people. It’s growing into something wonderful.

And I couldn't be a prouder papa.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Curse Defiers (Curse Keeper Series, book 3)

The Curse Defiers is the third novel in this series. Originally I thought it was going to be a trilogy ... I think the author may have thought so too actually. But this impressive story can't be held to only three books!

We are plunged back into the story as if only a few weeks has passed since the end of the last novel. You are immediately drawn back into the story as you are reunited with Ellie. Ellie is still torn between the two men in her life, Patrick, the level headed professor and Collin, the dangerous bad boy who owns her soul but not her trust. On top of this her best friend is pulling away from her and so is her step mother. 

The stakes have never been higher as the spirits finally have regained some of their strength and have started going after people. Especially the Crow spirits who have the police knocking on Ellie's door trying to figure out exactly what's happening. 

When the unthinkable happens Ellie only has Collin to turn to. Can she trust the man who has betrayed her and withheld information at every turn? Does she really have a choice? To save the people she loves and hopefully put an end to the spirits rampage Ellie and Collin will have to take a chance on each other to face the darkness one more time! 

Such a great serious! If you enjoy urban fantasy then this is definitely a series that you should be checking out! It's filled with great details and blends an incident in history with an intriguing story! The mystery of Roanoke has haunted our imaginations for over a hundred years. Who's to say that this isn't a viable option?

The characters are believable and funny which I always enjoy! And personally I am team Ellie and Colin! Tell me below if you are Team Colin or Team Patrick! 

Grab the book here!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bring a Child to a Bookstore Day! Guest Post by Jenny Milchman

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
How to Build Literacy, Support Community, & Make Magic Happen
All in One Day

In 2010 I had two young children whom I was bringing to story hour at our local bookstore almost every week. After all, what better activity to do with kids? It was enriching, fun, even relaxing. I didn’t have to feel guilty when I drank that 700 calorie butterscotch latte from the coffee bar. I was running back and forth between adult fiction and the flower-flocked children’s section—working off the calories for sure.

My kids probably didn’t realize it was as much of a treat for me as for them. Which started me thinking—were other parents in on this secret? How many children knew the pleasure of spending time in a bookstore?

I frequent the mystery listserv, DorothyL, and a more avid group of readers you couldn’t hope to find. When I floated the idea for Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, bloggers on the listserv spread the word. My husband designed a poster, a website, and bookmarks, and we designated the first Saturday in December as Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. This would coincide with holiday gift giving, hopefully giving people the idea that books make great presents. Just two weeks later, 80 bookstores were celebrating.

That summer my husband and I loaded the kids into the car and drove cross-country, visiting more than fifty bookstores. (You can tell he’s a supportive guy). In 2011, the second annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day found over 350 bookstores celebrating in all 50 states. Some planned special celebrations—children’s book authors, puppet makers, singers, even a baker who led kids in a gingerbread cookie decorating activity—while others simply hung a poster in the window. When 2013 came around, and the number had risen to over 600 independent bookstores, and one major chain, we knew that word was getting out. Kids + bookstores = magic.

And maybe something even more than that.

There’s a cultural wave behind Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The word locavore isn’t just for a Dr. Seuss story anymore. Supporting your local community and the resurgence of Main Street are goals that more and more people recognize as important to build strong citizens as well as strong readers.

You know that old ad campaign, “Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore”? I hear that now as, “Bookstores aren’t just for reading anymore.”

And by that I mean more than the fact that you can also buy toys, cards, gifts, or have your butterscotch latte at a bookstore. Bookstores are places where people come together over ideas and engage in a cultural conversation. That concept is so important I have to say it again. They are places where people come together. And booksellers are a group who know how to zig while others are zagging, so impassioned are they by their life’s pursuit. Their stores are places of physical interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

When you take a child to a bookstore, you stimulate his mind and all five senses. (If taste seems a stretch, just let her have the whipped cream on your latte). There’s a tactile dimension to the experience that seems rare these days. You also make that child a crucial part of the place where he lives, supporting it and helping it grow.

Best of all, these things happen in a guise that to the child is sheer magic. On the shelves of a bookstore sit gateways into whole new worlds. Children go into bookstores—but they come back out having journeyed somewhere else entirely.

This Saturday, December 6, 2014 is the fifth annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Whether you take your own child, a child you know, or the child inside yourself to a bookstore, together let’s build literacy, support community, and make magic happen.

Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist and mom from the Hudson River Valley who once drove past Disney with her children en route to the nearest bookstore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home Shopping Diva

After reading this I have decided that when I grow up, part of me wants to be Meg Flather. Home Shopping Diva is a stirring look at fighting for your dreams. Sometimes it's the small acts of courage that help you dream a little bigger. I really got that feeling from this book. 

The story is really just about Meg and all the different roads that she took to reach her goal. She was never afraid to make the decision to change if it would make things better for her. And sometimes change is so hard! But every step took her closer and closer to her dream.

In between each chapter are the lyrics to songs that she wrote. They were beautiful and touching. I couldn't wait to play the CD that came with the copy of the book and I was definitely not disappointed! She was definitely a cabaret singer and I could practically picture the 1940's lounge that meshed with her soulful styling. 

Such a great light and uplifting read! I would recommend this book to everyone who wanted some inspiration to fight for their dreams! Especially if they also loved make up! :)

Here is the link to her author page if you want to learn more about Meg Flather!

Amazon of course the link to buy the book on Amazon!

And the link to pick up her amazing cd's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact

Anni is just a young girl trying to figure out her place in a world gone topsy turvy. Her guardian went missing years ago but her saving grace was her best friend Lexi. Now even she has gone missing and there are weird creatures and a place in the sky! A strange world filled with voices in her head and something called a rat bat .... and most mysteriously of all .... Elementals. 

This book is adorable! It is definitely better for younger readers, probably under the age of 14. It's a cute quick read though for any adult looking for something adorable and fluffy. The action is fairly well paced and the language is descriptive while still being accessible for younger readers! 

I really loved the way the author painted pictures with her words. I thought it was interesting and inventive. I am actually kind of hoping that she will come out with something for older readers now! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Paradise Denied

Paradise Denied is a riveting tale of the horrors that people still face to gain freedom. I have been lucky to live in a first world country and though I didn't grow up wealthy it's the small things that I never really thought about that in the end mean the most. 

The story follows Zekerias Kebraeb as he begins his journey to freedom. Eritrea is a small country in Africa along the red sea. Once it was known for it's history and beauty and know it's known as one of the worst places to live in the world due to their human rights violations. The fear practically vibrates from the page as he describes the horrors of being rounded up to join a military that sucks in youth and eats it alive. 

The journey takes four years, and he is one of the lucky ones. Because ultimately he got away and lived and so many others never had that chance. 

I find myself struggling with the words to convey how much this book genuinely moved me. I can only imagine the strength and determination it would take to live through what this young man lived through. I am sure the scars still linger in his mind. 

The book will be released on November 10th, I definitely recommend picking it up. It's awe inspiring what this young man lived through and shows just how lucky we are and just how far the human race still has to go. 

Here is the link so you can grab/pre-order the book

And here is the link to a facebook page about hopefully helping make this country better for everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Populatti is the second novel by Jackie Nastri Bardenwerper and she is amazing! I literally got so sucked into this novel that I read it in one day. It's definitely young adult but I think it's over arcing lessons really reflect on anyone's life.

Populatti is the website that rules Livi's life. One of her best friend's, Crystal, designed it and it's brilliant. You can only get on it if enough people vote you in and it lets you know where all the cool parties are going to be. That was the life for Livi and her friends, a whirl wind of school, parties, and gossip. 

Finally everything seems to be going right for Livi, the boy she has crushed on for years is finally noticing her, she just turned 16 and her parents are buying her a new car! But underneath the foundation of her life is starting to crumble and she doesn't even know it. 

Everything blows up when a fight escalates and suddenly Livi has been voted out of the Populatti and the three girls who claimed to be her best friends fade away. It's Brandon and an unlikely kindness from two other girls that show Livi that friends are so much more then just happy smiles and hanging out. It's really being there that matters. 

I thought it was a great book! It really pin points that it's so easy to get so caught up in the every day of social media and who is saying what about who. It's not up to the social media to change, it's up to us as the humans who are using it to focus it in a better direction. 

I really liked that the author made Livi so endearing! You watch her struggle between making hard decisions. And also just watching how something innocent can turn into so much more when people start talking. There is definitely three sides to an argument: His side, her side and then truth. 

The book was funny, well thought out, nicely paced and incredibly well written. I will will definitely be looking to see what else this author has in the future!

The e-book can be found here for only 3.00!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beauty and the Barbarian by Amy Jarecki

Merrin was born with the mark of the devil, a large birthmark on her neck, if that wasn't bad enough her mother died in childbirth. Hated by the people of the island, she lives with her father on a tiny islet nearby learning to heal and keeping to herself. She fears she will never find love or companionship but at least she has her trusted dog.

Ian is a man of noble birth even if he is on the run right now. He helped his uncle's wife escape after years of abuse and now the uncle's murderous eye was upon him. Waking up injured he thought there was an angel over him and even after getting to know Merrin he still thought of her as an untouched angel.

Ian brings disaster behind him and Merrin and her father are forced to flee before the renegades hunting Ian. If Merrin can survive the the renegades will she be able to survive the heat in Ian's eyes?

This was a pretty typical romance novel and it was good. I would give it three stars. The characters were okay and the story moved along at a good clip. I prefer my women a little more spunky but hey, Merrin had never really been around men before so I guess she did her best!

If you find this one on sale or in a used store I would definitely grab it, I don't know about paying full price though.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

This is a great coming of age tale!

Avery Roe wants to take her place as the witch of Prince Island. At 16 she can feel the power coursing through her but she remains unable to use it. Taken from the grandmother who could ultimately teach her and trapped in the town with her mother who has cursed her there. Avery hates her life but it's not until the dream of her murder that the anxiousness explodes. Suddenly desperate to become the witch she begins looking outside of the box for any alternative.

That's where she meets Tane, a sailor from a far of island who dares to tell her that he can teach her magic. For a price of course. Avery, growing more frantic every day gives into his price to feed his revenge and to learn how to undo the curse.

But breaking one curse leads to a different one and ultimately Avery will be forced to choose between the one thing she has always aspired to be or the one thing she vowed to never let happen.

I don't want to say anything more because I don't think I could share anything else without giving away spoilers!

I originally grabbed this from Netgalley because of Prince Island, I kind of thought that maybe it was Prince Edward Island. It's not but I was blown away by the power of this author. I was so involved in this story and so attached to the characters that I really hope that she does more about the Roe Witches even though I know it will hurt.

She captured what's it like to hunger and claw for one dream which can lead to something else and how conflicted it can make you when you realize that the something else can be better for you. She handles the angsty relationship between Avery and her mother extraordinarily well and in the end even makes that heart breaking!

I am going to include a link to the free preview (I think it's the first three chapters or so) so that way you guys can check it out! It is definitely worth the money to grab this book and I can't wait to see what else this author comes up with!

Free Preview

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Me Without You by Kelly Rimmer

Callum Roberts is taking the ferry home as he does every day when a pair of filthy feet pull a sarcastic comment from him. Suddenly it leads to a date, and from there he is sold.

Lilah is everything he thought that he didn't want, opinionated, loud, and worst of all, a vegan. But for the first time in his life he feels like he's finally home.

I can't even give you guys a great intro into the story except to tell you that if you like Nicolas Sparks books then you have to read this. And as a disclaimer, please realize that you are going to need tissues and chocolate and maybe some ice cream during and after you are done reading this!

The story is mostly told from Callum's point of view, though it does bounce back and forth. The love story and chemistry is wonderfully done with each of them accepting the other person warts and all. But then Lilah's secret comes out. Sometimes when you meet the right person none of the other stuff matters and the author really makes you feel like you are part of the story, she draws you in and makes you care in ways that honestly, you kind of wish you didn't just so the crying would stop!

If you are in the mood for endearing love, and learning to heal even after the pain, then this book is for you!
Here is the link to grab the ebook!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup

At first I was kind of worried because I have never actually read anything by Jack Kerouac, thankfully I was pleasantly surprised to see that Barbara blends her novel with enough details that I never felt lost or that I was missing anything. 

The story takes place in 1964 with two young men who have read Jack Kerouac's adventures, about learning on the road and exploring. Amidst fear of what comes after high school they begin to idolize the author. 

When they realize that Jack Kerouac lives in Pensacola, Florida. Paul and Duke decide it's time to go in search of the man who has inspired them. Leaving their families and embracing a new set of fears they go out to discover their future!

High school is a scary time for anyone and I thought that author captured that upheaval so well. The story draws you in, Paul is definitely the focus and you care more about him then about Duke, but you still want to see how everything ends. How the boys will turn out in the end, the author makes you want to care about them. 

So here is a link to the author's website so you can check her out and her other novels!

And of course the amazon link so you can grab a copy!

Dare to Kiss by S.B. Alexander

Lacey Robinson has had her world flipped upside down. Just when everything was going right she lost her sister and mother in a brutal home break in. The world fell apart as she lost herself in the violence of that night and watched her dreams slowly drift away. 

A year later she has moved far away from her past with her father as she tries to get a handle on her PTSD. A new state, a new school, and a new chance to play baseball. A chance to recapture her dream of playing in the major leagues.

Unfortunately the team captain has other ideas about a girl on his team. And then she meets Kade Maxwell, a complication that Lacey isn't sure she can handle right now. The Maxwell's aren't great about taking no for an answer and they start looking out for Lacey as things get worse. Is Kade strong enough to handle Lacey's nightmares and fits and gentle enough to heal her soul?

I liked this book! It was good. The action moved smoothly, the dialogue was fairly witty. The way the author handled PTSD was really amazing. She handled it with care and sensitivity while showing just how debilitating it can be. It's hard work to continue living after something so horrific and S.B. Alexander handles it excellently. She has dealt with PTSD herself, which may explain why she writes it so well. 

The only thing I didn't like was that the sex scenes were pretty ... intense which was a little strange for me given that the characters were under 18. It could have just been weird for me since I am over 30 and it's weird to read about teenagers going at it. I just look for dialogue on those pages and flip over them so it's not too bad.  

So I have something exciting this time! I have a book trailer here! So if you click on the link it will take you over to YouTube so you can watch it!

I am also going to include the link to the author's website so you can check her out and some of her other books! She is definitely worth checking out.

Of course I am going to include the Amazon link for you! It was just released on September 30th and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Second Thoughts by Cara Bertrand

Second Thoughts is the second novel in the Sententia Series. The premise for the series is that hidden from the rest of the world is a group of people known as the Sententia. People with gifts that set them apart from the rest of us. 

The series starts in Lost in Thought with Lainey Young, plagued with flashes of deaths from the past, simply talks about her dizzy spells until she touches the car that cost her parents their life. Suddenly her choatic life is brought to a stand still as her adopted mother (her mother's best friend) and a friend of her father's decide it's time for her to go to boarding school. 

Northbrook Academy is everything Lainey never knew she wanted. Teachers who challenge her, friends who last longer then a few months, and a gorgeous boy. But it harbours secrets of it's own and they quickly surround Lainey. She also finds out that she's not insane, she's part of a race called the Sententia .... she has been gifted with the ability to see coming deaths and relive death's presence in items. Of course that makes her love for antiques rather awkward but that's neither here or there. 

The second book picks up right after the summer break. Lainey is eager to see her friend as well as her boyfriend. And still terrified by the last grim vision she saw. Her own death at the hands of the boy she loves. 

As the school term begins Lainey struggles with all the regular teenage stuff, tests, homework, the popular group. She also has to keep this secret from her best friend about who and what she is while debating if after graduation she wants to work for the leader of the Sententia, Daniel Astor. 

I really enjoyed this series! The writing was good, the story was fast paced. The idea is pretty popular right now in young adult paranormal novels but Cara Bertrand did such a great job that it didn't seem repetitive. It's funny and moving, the supporting cast of characters seems to have just as much life as Lainey Young which is always nice to read. 

The story lines are centered on real motives that lead to evil acts every day, moral decisions that can change a life. I especially liked the ending where Lainey is forced to make the decision between love and freedom. I was so .... amazed to see an author not give in to the easy answer. It was brilliant! I included the links on Amazon for both the first and second books!

Friday, September 19, 2014

After Twilight reveal!

After Twilight: Six Tales of First Loves, Extraordinary Heroines, and Daring Adventures. It's a great new boxed set by 6 up and coming young authors set in the YA genre.

I have read Silent Orchid by Morgan Wylie and it's amazing! That book alone is worth the price but right now there is an even better deal! They were one of the 15 YA books chosen to be part of the deal! You can find these 6 books for .99 at the ibook store!

iBook copy

For those who don't have iTunes but still want to get their hands on these great new books then here are the other links!

SmashWords (It's also .99 here if you don't have iTunes!)

There is also a great program called Thunderclap! (Think Kickstarter but free!) The only thing they ask is that you check it out and share to your favourite social media site! Please check it out at Thunderclap: After Twilight

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Devil Music by Carly Orosz

Devil Music is set in the 1980's, at the height of the Rock industry when the media was starting to talk about the effect that music has on children. Cain Pseudomantis is a demon living in Los Angeles in the power of a mortal. He can either commit the horrible acts he is commanded to or suffer harsh punishment. He only seems to find solace in the rock music he drifts to when he is free to be himself.

It's on a mission for his human master in the seedy underbelly of the city where he picks up a guitar for the first time and feels the thrill as he makes his own music. Unable to resist he buys the guitar which begins his journey into stardom with friends and loved ones.

However this is just the beginning and things begin to get hairy as murders start to terrorize the music scene. And his girl friend's father, the honourable Nathaniel Breen, televangelist, accuses him of turning the city's youth towards satanism! What's a demon with some morals gotta do to just live his life in peace!

I really enjoyed this book! It was kind of like Rock of Ages met Son of Sam in a strange clash of amusement and thrill rides! I felt like the author really gave a great grasp on the old adage about not judging people and showing that friends are friends, no matter who or what they are.

Also a really nice commentary on the fact that just because someone is supposed to be a good person doesn't always mean they are and vice versa. Good isn't always good, and evil isn't always evil. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that there is a middle ground and intentions do matter even if they don't always turn out the way we would like!

Devil Music

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to School Reading List!

Another stop along the Back to School Tour will be with some brand new authors who are definitely worth checking out!  Hopefully you find something you like and feel free to follow the links to Amazon or check out other tours along the route by following the button at the bottom!

Rush of Shadows by Catherine Bell

When American pioneers set their hearts on a California valley where Indians had been living for thousands of years, a period of uneasy appraisal emerged, followed by conflict and soon enough by genocide. The epic greed and violence of the 1850's and 60's has been brushed aside by history, conveniently forgotten in the pride of conquest. Willful ignorance and cruelty, terror and desperation were common in that time, but there were moments too of nobility and compassion, ingenuity and forgiveness, qualities which might have prevailed if certain things had been different. Rush of Shadows brings to life two freethinking women, Mellie, a white, and Bah.

The Magic of Maxwell and his Tail

Everyone has magic but sometimes you have to search to find out what it is. That’s what Maxwell 
Mouse had to do. And he discovered that what he thought was something very bad was actually 
something very good, indeed.

The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail is more than just a charming, wonderfully illustrated story. With 
childlike innocence, it presents an inspiring motivational model for youngsters—especially gifted kids and those with special needs—to take another look at themselves and recognize their unique gifts. It shows them how to see beyond what appear to be limitations and appreciate them as positive attributes that will help them to soar.

Written by an educator with over 30 years in the trenches and based on sound educational principles acknowledging the various ways children learn (multiple intelligences), The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail is a micro-guide to life. It will delight children as they celebrate Maxwell’s triumphs, and warm the hearts of parents as they watch their kids discover how perfectly special they are.

The Magic of Maxwell and His Tail is the first in a series of books to entertain, educate, and encourage children to be their better selves.

The Cottoncrest Curse by Michael H. Rubin

In this heart-racing thriller, a series of gruesome deaths ignite feuds that burn a path from the cotton fields to the courthouse steps, from the moss-draped bayous of Cajun country to the bordellos of 19th century New Orleans, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights era and across the Jim Crow decades to the Freedom Marches of the 1960s. 

At the heart of the story is the apparent suicide of elderly Civil War Col. Augustine Chastaine who, two decades after the end of the Civil War, viciously slit the throat of his wife and then shot himself. Sheriff Raifer Jackson, however, believes that this may be a double homicide, and suspicion falls upon Jake Gold, an itinerant peddler with many secrets to conceal, not the least of which is that he is a Jewish immigrant in the post-Reconstruction South, where racial, religious and ethnic prejudice abounds. 

Jake must stay one step ahead of the law, as well as the racist Knights of the White Camellia, as he interacts with blacks and whites, former slaves, Cajuns, crusty white field hands, and free men of color as he tries to keep one final promise before more lives are lost and he loses the opportunity to clear his name.

Reservation Ravaged by JoAnna Senger

Hermione Daggert is a newly certified California private investigator and the junior partner in Denning & Daggert. Proud possessor of her own business card, she relies on her special analytical skills and ability to fade into the background so completely that people forget they met her. The senior partner, Emma Denning, turns over an assignment for a local Indian tribe, the Kanache, to Hermione. Over a year before, a man camped illegally on the reservation. The chief forced him to leave immediately. Ever since, the land on which he camped has seen unparalleled devastation. The chief’s grandson is injured in a freak accident on that section of the reservation and loses a leg. 

Hermione is hired to find that man. And she does. 

But that is only the beginning. The Kanache sell that section of the reservation to an academic entrepreneur, Dr. Frederic Unlickner, who uses the site to build the Institute of Holistic Health, his lifelong dream. Emma Denning despises Unlickner on sight and nicknames him “Dr. Unlikeable.” 

No longer content to simply maim a teenage boy, the land seems to seek new victims beginning with a fiery crash, burning a young socialite alive. Hermione finds herself working at the Institute, trying to unravel the geologic mystery with several murders tucked inside. No longer sure that she understands human nature, or anything else, she narrowly escapes being swallowed alive by the land underneath her feet.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Touching Tales (Part of the Back to School Tour)

So it's that time of year again, people are going back to school or getting ready for the hectic rush of fall that leads into the holidays. But here are a few titles that will hopefully bring a few moments of peace among the craziness of the coming months!

The Story Keeper (Carolina #2) by Lisa Wingate

When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen's suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever.

The Story Keeper

Rush of Shadows by Catherine Bell

When American pioneers set their hearts on a California valley where Indians had been living for thousands of years, a period of uneasy appraisal emerged, followed by conflict and soon enough by genocide. The epic greed and violence of the 1850's and 60's has been brushed aside by history, conveniently forgotten in the pride of conquest. Willful ignorance and cruelty, terror and desperation were common in that time, but there were moments too of nobility and compassion, ingenuity and forgiveness, qualities which might have prevailed if certain things had been different. Rush of Shadows brings to life two freethinking women, Mellie, a white, and Bah.

Rush of Shadows

Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland

From Susan Vreeland, bestselling author of such acclaimed novels as Girl in Hyacinth BlueLuncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany, comes a richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening in the south of Vichy France—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war.

In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.

Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.

With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings (#11. Find the paintings in my lifetime). Her search takes her through the stunning French countryside, where she befriends Marc and Bella Chagall, who are in hiding before their flight to America, and acquaints her with the land, her neighbors, and even herself in ways she never dreamed possible. Through joy and tragedy, occupation and liberation, small acts of kindness and great acts of courage, Lisette learns to forgive the past, to live robustly, and to love again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Check out BookGirlTV's interview with Linda Fairstein!

Interview for BookGirlTV!

BookGirlTV informs, inspires readers with top quality new reads
Newest interviews with BEST-SELLING authors Linda Fairstein, Adam Braun

NEW YORK CITY – Tessa Smith McGovern finds the best new books to read for BookGirlTV so you don’t have to and takes you behind the scenes with today’s top authors.

With BookGirlTV, McGovern cuts through the advertising and hype to find what books you should be reading right now. She aims to save people time and money by only highlighting exceptional books that readers will want to finish and to provide readers with an interactive, entertaining and life-enhancing monthly video book club that fits anyone’s schedule. BookGirlTV also works to shine a light on under-recognized female writers, both emerging and best-selling, and can help new authors learn strategies and wisdom from successful authors.

The most recent edition of BookGirlTV’s author interview show, ‘Just Books with Tessa Smith McGovern’ features an interview with Linda Fairstein about her book “Terminal City,” which reveals the “dark side” of New York City’s Grand Central Station. McGovern’s upcoming interviews include Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise and author of The Promise of a Pencil, and author and journalist Anna Quindlen.

BookGirlTV also produces a series called BookGirlBUZZes, 1-2 minute book reviews that tell you what a book’s about (don’t worry, no spoilers here!) and whether those 5 star Amazon ratings are accurate – think of it as the mobile version of your local bookstore clerk.

BookGirlTV airs Thursdays at 4 p.m. on YouTube and BookGirl.TV and after on Facebook, Twitter, BlipTV, Dailymotion, iTunes, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Roku and all connected TVs. The BookGirlBUZZ mobile app for Android and iOS allows people to stay up-to-date and watch BookGirlTV on their favorite mobile device. The email newsletter also keeps people in the know about new episodes of BookGirlTV and offers the chance to win free books, many of them signed.

About the BookGirl: Tessa Smith McGovern, originally from England, published her first short story in 1996 and has continued to publish work while also founding eChook Digital Publishing and hosting and producing BookGirl.TV. McGovern’s linked short story collection, “London Road: Linked Stories,” has earned high praise, including being the Gold Medal Winner in the 2012 eLit Awards. McGovern also teaches at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, NY.

Check them out at these links!