Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winning the City Tour: Excerpt

Youth Basketball Drama a Surprising
Backdrop for Modern Literary Classic
Coming-of-Age Tale Examines Roiling World of Teenage Sport

It’s fascinating to see in which direction Weesner’s quiet, patient, almost unnerving talent takes him.”
Joyce Carol Oates, Professor of Humanities and Creative Writing, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize Nominee, National Book Award Winner, Author of Black Water, What I Lived For, and Blonde

Weesner is definitely a man to watch—and read.”

"A knockout!...Dale [Wheeler's] struggles to win in a world whose odds are stacked against outsiders…lead to a heartbreaking kind of disillusionment and courageous maturity."
Dan Wakefield, Boston Globe

"Winning the City tells of a young athlete 'nearly driven out of mind with all that he knew,'…Theodore Weesner is an extraordinary writer."
Richard Yates

"Winning the City is a fine novel, a crisply written story about a young boy's struggle to define himself."
James Carroll, Ploughshares

Highly acclaimed Literary fiction author Theodore Weesner is back, following up his “modern American classic” (The Car Thief) with an exciting coming-of-age literary drama, set within the background of inner city youth basketball.

Winning the City Redux [ISBN: 978-1-938231-08-7; Literary Fiction; Paperback, US $12.95; ebook, US $5.99 March, 2013] is now re-imagined for a new generation of readers to discover. Written in Theodore Weesner’s signature gritty style, Redux again breaks through as an enduring piece of literature, even as its language and plot coalesce to form an enthralling page-turner. Winning the City Redux entertains as it examines new dimensions of classism, corruption, youth angst and dangerous passion.

It’s Detroit, 1961. Fifteen-year-old Dale Wheeler, the son of an unemployed, alcoholic autoworker, has big dreams of leading his team to the City Basketball Championship. But his dream is shattered when Dale—the co-captain and top point guard—is cut from the team to make way for the son of a big money team sponsor.

His life in a tailspin, Dale finds a helping hand in Miss Furbish, the beautiful homeroom teacher whose well-meaning kindness gradually builds into a potentially dangerous passion. And in his lowest times, Dale gets a final shot at his dream: A hardscrabble team of street-ballers that may have what it takes to win the City Championship.


Theodore Weesner, born in Flint, Michigan, is aptly described as a “Writers’ Writer” by the larger literary community. His short works have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly and Best American Short Stories. His novels, including The True Detective, Winning the City and Harbor Light, have been published to great critical acclaim in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Magazine and The Los Angeles Times to name a few.

Weesner is currently writing his memoir, two new novels, and an adaptation of his widely praised novel—retitled Winning the City Redux—also to be published by Astor + Blue Editions. He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.


This is it. Today is the day. The first practice of the year after school in the boy's gym. Time to show the speed, do the deed, take the lead! All these weeks and months Dale has been able to think of little else. Since last spring.

Since forever. Now it’s his turn to be the oldest, the biggest, the best. Tryouts. But he’s a returning starter and is sure as hell not trying out. He'll be leading the way, making them pay! His excitement is such that for days on end he has been telling himself to be cool. Time to be cool and not a fool. For playing it cool is the only tool...if you’re out to win the entire goddamn city.

Dale Wheeler is fourteen all the same, and whatever energy he may be bringing to his talking-the-talk temperature he doesn’t know how not to dream. He’s grown an inch and a half since the season ended last year and is growing still. In this instant he’s pushing up through five-nine. Sitting at his desk in school he can look at a forearm and see it growing larger, stronger, longer. Can pump up bicep-pears before the bathroom mirror at home. One on the left, one on the right! Pop, pop! Pow, pow! Hey, hey, get outta my way...my name is Dale Wheeler and I came to play! Besides confidence Dale can call up conviction in his mind and heart. Secret power leading the way, making his day! Call me cocky and I’ll make your fat ass pay!

Dale knows he’s good. There’s no doubt he’s done the work. Like a saver saving every penny, he’s given himself to little else. At times it seems it’s all he’s done, all the time, is work-work, practice-practice. And work some more. And worked on anyway. Worked into work. Sweated into sweat all over again, before taking his shower, doing his homework, dreaming his dream. For work, as every athlete knows, is the key. The more you practice the luckier you get. Acquire the moves, absorb the steps...and when the time comes you'll hit the groove no matter some hee-haw in the stands sputtering about luck and the bounce of the ball.

Dale has done it, is doing it, will do it. For an athlete is what he is. Maybe he’s only fourteen but he knows what he knows and he knows it’s his turn to take them all downtown to win the city! "Here comes Wheeler," cries the Sportscaster on high. "He takes the shot! no--he fakes the shot! He fakes the shot!! He drives! shoots! SCORES! SCORES!! SCORES!!!"

Even in his sleep at night Dale dreams of winning the city. Moments and moves from outdoor pickup games under the lights (amazing things happen in outdoor pickup games) blend in his dreams into games indoors rocking with all the students and teachers he has ever known or passed in the hallways of Walt Whitman Junior High. Waking from a dream with his mind full of rainbows he reminds himself not to go off the deep end. To settle down.

Don't be a fool, play it cool! Playing it cool is the only tool!

Everything is a game. Life, Dale knows, is a game all the way and everything that happens depends on how you play. It’s something else he knows he knows. He has no notion of himself as a thinker, or as a smart ass ninth-grader either, but he knows what he knows and he knows that everything is a game. That playing it cool is the only tool...when you’re out to rule.

(Okay, maybe he is a smart ass, but whoever won the city who wasn’t?)


Serena Ainesly

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Hurricane Sandy

I live in New Jersey, which the hurricane will be smacking into a few hours. I hope everyone in its path stays safe. I still have power, but I don't know much longer I will have it. And I'm not sure if I lose it, how long it will take to get back up. So I might have a lot of catching up to do later.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Dream within a Dream

Dream Magic: Awakenings by Dawn Harshaw

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Eric, a young boy, has enough of nightmares ruining his dreams. Determined to grow stronger, he tackles magical disciplines one at a time - be it flying, blade magic, or telepathy - and stares down his fears. But, will he survive the battles and the trial of nightmare mastery? And at what cost?

"Dream Magic: Awakenings" reaches for deep metaphysical concepts and uses introspective experiences to offer an immersive feeling of MAGIC.

Review: A combination of magic guide and how a young boy learns to face his fears. 

I must admit that I found this book quite weird at first. I understand the nightmare part and the idea of dream magic, but not why each chapter seemed to be devoted a different type of magic. A plot soon developed though, which was nice and I grew to like the fact that each chapter was dedicated to a different magic type. I always like magic classes in whatever shape or form and it was fun to pretend to be in magic school. The book really does read like a magic guide that one could easily pick up if they were trying to learn magic (and if magic were real, which I wish it was). 

I liked all the characters and always got a kick out of Kyle and Lyle. I would have liked to learn about the real world (aka the non-dreaming world) and what Eric's life was like. How does being in the dream world affect the real world? Could he get stuck in a dream for days, months, years? I liked the idea of the characters working their way up to becoming a nightmare fighter. What happens if nightmares are allowed to run rampant? And why do kids do the fighting? The last chapter was incredibly creepy and stomach turning and most certainly a nightmare.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in how magic works, magic guides, or nightmares.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kates and Katherines

A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Summary: England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these four young royals shared the same small rooms in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch.

Review: A tale of two women at the beginning and end of the Tudor era that turns into a needless mystery story.

Having both the main female characters named Katherine was a little confusing at first. I know one was called Kate instead of Katherine and that one story was told in first person while the other was told in third person, but I might not always notice if I was reading Kate's story or Katherine's story. It was easy enough to tell once historical issues were brought up though. I like that the stories are told from the point of views of someone at the beginning of the Tudor reign and someone at the end of the Tudor reign.

I liked Katherine more than I liked Kate. I still think Katherine was stupid in how impulsively she acted, but history is history and there is no changing that. Barely anything is known about Kate, which allows for much more liberty. She was so stubborn in believing the best of her father and it grated on my nerves. I enjoyed this book until it turned into a solve the mystery of the princes in the tower with both characters. I could believe Kate, but not Katherine searching for answers. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction about the Tudors, the princes in the Tower, or Richard III.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maybe the Trains Tour: Guest Post

The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains by Rodney Jones

Summary: What would it take to convince you that the woods you just left is a hundred and forty-four years distant from the one you entered?

Ten years have passed since the Civil War broke up John Bartley’s family. Living with his aunt and uncle in the tiny village of Greendale, Vermont, isn’t filled with excitement for a seventeenyear-old.

Until John walks into the woods one day and stumbles into 2009…

Fortunately, he chances upon the outspoken Tess McKinnon. To earn her trust, he must first
convince her that he is neither a lunatic nor a liar. The proof he needs is buried at the end of a
mountain road, where the ruins of Greendale lie just beneath a layer of dead leaves and moss.
What became of his home? Why is there no record of its existence?

Guest Post about Time Travel: Isn’t it romantic? I think most people think of time travel in this way. But imagine you could travel back in time, taking with you your twenty-first century knowledge and skills. You could be a god among the ignorant masses—you could rule the world. Better yet, you could beat George Harrison to his place among the Beatles. Or you might have a second chance to rewrite your own life story, as in the book, Replay. Perhaps you could play superhero by going back in time and eliminating the evil-doers—kidnap Hitler as an infant and sell him to a childless Jewish couple. Time travel offers countless, intriguing possibilities. It also presents a number of challenges. Realism, if that’s what you're shooting for, is probably the biggest one.

It goes without saying that the characters in a time travel story need to be believable. Perhaps because you’re dealing with a topic that is generally difficult to relate to, attention to character realism is particularly important. You want to develop a good relationship between the characters and the reader so the reader is less likely to stumble over the impossible.

Well-researched setting—historical accuracy: Of course, if you are traveling to the future, historical accuracy is irrelevant. That’s an entirely different kind of story. My story, The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains is perhaps a bit unusual in that it starts in the past and moves to the near-present. I wrote the past (the year 1875) as though the entire story would take place there, spending as much time with research as I did with the actual writing. I gave a lot of attention to the dialect of the period and the region. I studied letters, songs, and poems, and compiled a list of period colloquialisms to help lend realism to my story.

Probably the toughest issue I encountered in writing about time travel was: How does one behave when faced with the impossible? I once saw a video in which the world renowned magician, David Blaine, engaged unsuspecting bystanders on a New York street in elaborately staged illusions. These people had no idea of who or what they were dealing with; they were not prepared. You could tell by their reactions—stunned, drop-jawed, messed up, mind-blown—that they were completely convinced they were witnessing the impossible. There should be a law against screwing with people in that manner. So, anyway, suppose you suddenly found yourself a hundred years in the future or in the past. You would very likely doubt your own sanity. You would likely behave in a way that might actually look dull in print. I found it a challenge finding the balance between too much boring realism and convincing, intriguing fantasy.

After writing The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains, I thought I was done with time travel, but after writing this guest post I’m having second thoughts. There are yet a plethora (oh, yes, a plethora) of unturned stones in this sub-genre.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Natasha.

About the Author: While a past resident of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, New York, and Vermont, Rodney Jones now resides in Richmond, Indiana, where he whiles away his days pecking at a laptop, riding his ten-speed up the Cardinal Greenway, taking long walks with his daughter, or backpacking and wilderness camping.

His list of past occupations reads like his list of past residences, though his life-long ambition was to be an artist until he discovered a latent affinity for writing.

“In art,” Rodney says, “I was constantly being asked to explain images constructed from a palette of emotions and ideas, which usually required complex narratives to convey their meaning, if there even was a meaning. In writing, the words are creating the images, images are telling a story, the story is evoking feelings. I like it. There’s nothing to explain.”

Rodney’s interests include: art, science, politics, whiskey and chocolate, music (collecting vinyl records), gardening, and travel.

Check out the rest of the tour and the chance to win prizes here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Night Music Tour: Giveaway (Adult Content)

Warning: Adult Content!

Title: Night Music
Series: The Edge Series
Author: Margie Church
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Ménage (3+ partners),
Publisher: Decadent
Pages: 26


Book Description:

A quiet, lakeside vacation is just what Brielle needs to decompress after her busy concert season. She expects the weeks to pass uneventfully. Until she meets the men next door.

Tyler and Zeke are as adventurous and sexy as the Harleys they ride. The passion they hear in Brielle's music draws them to her.

Convinced the hunks are gay, Brielle lets down her inhibitions. That turns out to be the best decision she's made in a long time.


Brielle had stopped at the local market to get enough supplies for a few days. She had no intention of going to town unless there was a darn good reason. After her clothing and other belongings were unpacked, she opened a bottle of wine—one of several she’d bought—and contemplated the glorious evening sun.
The rumble of motorcycles disrupted her musings. She craned her neck to see who the offenders were.
Two men on leather-bedecked hogs cruised down the neighboring driveway. She watched from the seclusion of her covered porch as they got off and parked their bikes. Leather chaps covered their jeans. Boots and black leather vests made them look badass. She waited for them to remove their helmets and reveal more of their features.
She wasn’t disappointed.
One of the broad-shouldered men had flaxen hair. The second man ran his hands through his dark hair that reached his shoulders. Even from a distance, she could tell they were in good physical shape, and probably in their late twenties. A twinge of naughtiness plucked her libido. Her vacation was already looking up.
The bike-riding neighbors unpacked their saddlebags and carried their gear into their cabin. The door shut softly behind them and returned the peace and quiet they’d interrupted.
Brielle watched the sun dip lower, streaking the sky with brilliant red, orange, and yellow against the clear blue backdrop. The deep sounds of a motoryacht’s engines mixed with the haunting sounds from the loons.
Inspired, she refilled her wineglass, and then brought her cello to the three-season porch. She moved her bow across the taut strings, warming up, wondering what she should play. She sipped her wine while searching through her extensive music collection. Her hand rested on Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Did she dare? Could she play with even half the passion Mei Ju had the other day?
Closing her eyes, Brielle focused on the sounds and sight of Mr. Ju on stage.
Will that ever be me?
She drew her bow back and forth on the strings to play the fiery interludes and soulful chords. Brielle imagined herself in front of the orchestra, the way Ju had been, and did her best to do justice to the piece he’d played so brilliantly.
As she played the last, low note, she noticed the two men standing on their porch, watching her. Heat flared in her cheeks, whether from the exertion of playing or the embarrassment of their witness, she didn’t know.
One man began clapping.
Not expecting that reaction, she chuckled.
Play something else,” said the man with the long hair.
Thinking they were making fun of her, she closed her music and stood. “Funny guy.”
No, really, play some more.”
She contemplated the request for a moment. “You’re not going to call the cops?”
The blond one laughed. “Oh, hell no. Come on. Play something hot and sexy.”
Bolstered by their enthusiasm, she wondered what she could play that might fit the bill. “Just a minute.” A number of titles ran through her mind and she dismissed them all. Ah, the perfect one.

About the Author:

Margie Church writes erotic romance novels with a strong suspense element, in keeping with her moniker: Romance with SASS (Suspense Angst Seductive Sizzle). She has a degree in writing and editing and has been a professional writer, editor, and journalist for over 25 years. If you enjoy books you can't put down, read one of hers.

Margie lives in Minnesota, is married, and has two children. Some of her passions are music, flower gardening, biking, walking on moonlit nights, nature, and making people laugh. She also writes children's books under the pen name, Margaret Rose.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Queen and the Mistress

At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Anne Clinard Barnhill

Summary: A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, At the Mercy of the Queen is a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

At the innocent age of fifteen, Lady Margaret Shelton arrives at the court of Henry VIII and quickly becomes the confidante of her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn. But she soon finds herself drawn into the perilous web of Anne’s ambition.
Desperate to hold onto the king’s waning affection, Anne schemes to have him take her guileless young cousin as mistress, ensuring her husband’s new paramour will owe her loyalty to the queen. But Margaret has fallen deeply in love with a handsome young courtier. She is faced with a terrible dilemma: give herself to the king and betray the love of her life or refuse to become his mistress and jeopardize the life of the her cousin, Queen Anne. 

Review: An enjoyable tale of Anne Boleyn that had a sympathetic portrayal of the queen and a delightful love story.

Anne Boleyn can be a hard character to portray. It is easy to fall upon stereotypes when writing about the fallen queen. I really liked the Anne Boleyn of this book. She really did love Henry VIII and had trouble controlling her tongue even when it was detrimental to herself. Her love explains her anger at his mistresses and even can help explain why she tells Madge to become Henry's mistress (although I still find that hard to believe). Anne Boleyn's story is a tragic one and this book really helps to drive that home. 

The main focus of this story is Madge and how she falls in love with Arthur Brandon. The fact that Madge is cousin of the queen makes it a little easier to believe that she was a confident of Anne Boleyn, but it still doesn't sit well with me. I really enjoyed the love story between Madge and Arthur and thought it was sweet and believable. As mentioned in other reviews, there are some historical inaccuracies in this book, but for the majority (except for Thomas Wyatt) I was either not terribly bothered or didn't have enough knowledge to be bothered by them. 


I would recommend this book to fans of the Tudors, Anne Boleyn, or historical fiction about queens.

The Mostly Lovable, But Still Slightly Annoying Demon

The Demon in Me by Michelle Rowen

Summary: After her hunky police detective partner guns down a serial killer in front of her, "psychic consultant" Eden Riley realizes that she's no longer alone. A voice in her head introduces himself as Darrak. He's a demon. But not in a bad way. He was cursed 300 years ago and he wants to find a way to break free. Eden's psychic energy helps him take form during daylight, and she's going to have to learn to live with this sexy demon...like it or not.

Review: An enjoyable paranormal romance with a main male character I liked most of the time.

Paranormal romance novels are a dime a dozen nowadays so it is nice to read one that is a bit different. Of course it is possible that there are plenty of paranormal romance novels involving demon possession, but this is the first one I can remember reading. I really enjoyed how Eden became a psychic consultant for the police department since it was just pure chance that she was able to find the police chief's wife's dog. It was nice to have a heroine who wasn't ridiculously overpowered. 

Is there a trend in paranormal romance for the main female characters to have had previous bad relationships so the main male character can sweep them off their feet that much easier? I feel like it certainly could be one. Eden's abusive boyfriend and jerky fiance felt like plot devices so she would be more inclined to keep Darrak around and not try to exorcise him. I did like Darrak well enough although he did act like a jerk a few times in the story. The sex, when it finally did happen, was very anticlimatic. I also didn't like the word love being thrown around after only a few days. The world Rowen created is fascinating though and I am interested enough to read the second book. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance and demons.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Francesca of Lost Nation Tour: Giveaway

Title: Francesca of Lost Nation
Author: Lucinda Sue Crosby
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance
Publisher: LuckyCinda
Pages: 244


Book Description:

Winner of Four Literary Prizes / Author selected as one of “50 Authors You Should be Reading” by The Authors Show online media outlet

Funny at times and filled with little pearls of everyday wisdom, this book is as much a romantic thriller as it is a perfect little capsule of a time gone by. It is a book about love of all kinds - between grandmother and child, between child and dog, between man and woman.”

This book is about an unconventional 59-year old woman, Francesca, and her resourceful 10-year old granddaughter, Sarah, who share the adventures of a lifetime over the summer of 1947 in Lost Nation, Iowa. Together, they enchant barnstorming pilots, wow Clinton County Fair attendees, conquer the skies, confront an escaped arsonist, discover how Lost Nation got its intriguing name, and eventually demonstrate to one another the greatest truth about love.

Anyone who loves their grandmother will enjoy reading this Romance Fiction about family, friendship and strong women.


With only eight days left before my parents’ departure, there were a gazillion of things to attend to. We actually had lists of lists. And let’s not forget the blizzard of special delivery letters: One from Daddyboys to Mr. Toynbee at “World Travel” accepting the award; another from Francesca to our relatives in New York telling them Clay and Rachael would be visiting; and still another to Great Aunt Maude and Great Uncle Harry who were asked to visit Home Farm to supposedly help out at Daddyboys’ business but actually to keep Francesca and me out of trouble. Fat chance!
Travel documents needed signatures, a money draft had to be drawn up and trip reservations needed verification. As it turned out, my parents would also linger an extra day in Manhattan to hammer out the rest of the “particulars” with the editors of “World Travel” before venturing across the pond.
Our usually silent phone didn’t stop ringing. People we hardly knew called or stopped by trying to sell my parents luggage, wallets, passport holders and cures for Montezuma’s Revenge. Then there was the constant stream of unsolicited advice: Don’t drink the water; watch out for pickpockets and don’t spoil those European waiters and bellhops by over tipping.
Daddyboys was clearly enjoying the spotlight. Forget Lost Nation’s only newspaper, The Daily Pulse, in our tight-knit community, the grape vine was the fastest way to get the word out and it didn’t take much to start the information rolling. I recall an afternoon when 1,000 people gathered at one of the neighboring farms to witness a gizmo dreamed up by a local that was supposed to pick up and drop mail sacks in one fell swoop. Apparently, he’d worked on this machine for nearly a decade. That was considered really BIG news.
These days, however, the folks just wanted to gaze upon the town’s newest celebrity, whose face and prose would grace the feature page of a big time magazine. While my father was basking in the radiance of his growing fame, Rachael also looked to be caught up in the excitement, which surprised me. For once, she didn’t seem to care one whit about having to set her baking aside or letting her beloved stove go cool for hours at a time.
She and Francesca were also each other’s constant companions. Together they hemmed and restitched clothing, redesigning everything “decent” in my mother's closet at least twice.
Shopping trips were high on the list. Hats, gloves and shoes were waiting to be tried on and purchased, not to mention two new sets of suspenders in gray and blue for Daddyboys.
And you need proper lingerie, Rachael. No daughter of mine is going to Paris without a few frilly under things. It'll add to your confidence." Francesca pronounced.
While my mother made a series of ruthless packing decisions, Daddyboys finalized arrangements for help at the garage while he was gone.
Uncle Harry would take on the occasional major mechanical problems. But my father also wanted to bring in someone who already knew the day-to-day ropes and could help Harry out with the nuts and bolts of routine maintenance. For that, there wasn’t anyone better than Abraham Lancer, the solitary taxicab driver in Lost Nation as well as the head of the only black household.
Abraham often worked with my father during the winter months when farm vehicles got their annual overhauls and the taxi business was slow. So it was decided Abraham and Harry would be looking after things, with Uncle Harry expected to drive over from Des Moines in a couple weeks.
The idea of Harry’s visit, however, was sure to unsettle Francesca.
My Great Uncle had lived a rather steady sort of life with just one or two major hitches in the proceedings. He was born and grew up with his prominent family in Lost Nation, which was where he met the Pittschtick sisters, Maude, of the gorgeous face, and Francesca of the regal limbs. Starting in elementary, they had all attended school together and it was common knowledge that Harry was the catch of the county, being the eldest son from the wealthiest family in the area. He was an earnest, sober and sweet-tempered man who early on showed a gift for both fixing machinery and fiddling with numbers. One thing was sure - he had no interest in farming and so would have to find his own way in the world.
Everyone liked Harry. He was not effusive, yet he got along famously with the high born and the low brow. And for a time, Harry and Francesca were deeply and truly in love.
I wasn’t there for the courtship but was told bits and pieces of the story many times. Everyone in Lost Nation had an opinion that colored their own treasured set of “facts.”

About the Author:

Lucinda Sue Crosby is a Nashville songwriter, commissioned poet, award-winning journalist, and award-winning author as well as a Kindle bestseller. She also is a former Hollywood actress and professional athlete.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Cornerstone Deep Echoes Tour: Book Trailer and Giveaway

Title: Cornerstone Deep Echoes
Series: Chronicles of Shilo Manor, #2
Author: Charlene A. Wilson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction,
Publisher: Class Act Books
Pages: 279


Book Description:

It's their nature - long lives and rebirth. They're from another dimension, one gifted with advance abilities, but they serve in Cornerstone Deep. They're the Wizards of Shilo Manor.

"We are of another plane. Only by ancient covenant do few know our true natures. We walk this world among you, beside you, loving you."

Mianna’s return heals Cole’s soul and he promises to follow her for the rest of his existence. But the past isn’t what he believes. The fight for her has only begun.

Lord Dressen’s obsession grows as unexpected knowledge is revealed. His search for Mianna has spanned six life times and he won’t give up now. The courts stand behind him. Power pulses through his veins. Determination peaks and not even Cole Shilo can stop him. He will win his prize.

Struggling to stay ahead, Cole’s anger explodes. Nothing is sacred when it comes to keeping his love—not even covenants made with gods. But, through all his efforts, lofty or damned, the truth remains. Will echoes of another life cause him to fail?

Book Trailer:

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Refreshing Read

Aliens Are Real: Part 1 by Sabrina Sumsion

Summary: Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Jasmine wants stability, friends and possibly a boyfriend. Who knew aliens would interfere?

When Jasmine moves to Omaha, Ne with her Colonel father so he can work on top secret matters at Offut Air Force Base, she prepares herself for another lonely station. Jasmine meets Yumi, a mysterious girl in Art Class, and her world changes.

Jasmine plots to stay in Omaha but the acceptance of Yumi's housemates is central to her plans. Their rejection surprises her until she realizes they have a secret. For a chance at stability and blossoming love with the hottie from Drama class, Jasmine puts herself in harm's way to rescue Yumi and find the home she's been searching for since her mother died.

This is a sweet Young Adult Romance with a little bit of science fiction thrown in.

Review: A fun, enjoyable young adult novel with the right mix of romance and science fiction. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. Jasmine was a great character. She was a believable and sympathetic character. It was nice to have a female character who wasn't constantly complaining about her body or her looks. I thought it was very cute how Jasmine had to look up how to try and make friends. It showed how human she was. She did have a bit of a stubborn streak in her and wouldn't give up when her mind was made up. There were a few times I wanted to yell at her because of that.

I really liked that Jasmine became attracted to a sweet, funny guy, not the handsome man who wants nothing to do with her (which seems to be a trend in young adult fiction). I found it a bit odd that Jasmine's drama friends never knew about her lunch friends, but perhaps it was just that big a of a school. I hope the science fiction aspect is bigger in the next novel. This book brought up more questions than it answered and only hinted at the history of the aliens. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of young adult science fiction or light science fiction with some romance. 

The Faction of I Don't Care

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Review: A hard to believe dystopian world with an unsympathetic main character and a romance. 

I just can't. I just can't buy this world. Why five factions? And where is there even a choice to join another faction than the one the person grew up in? The factions appear to be very good at segregation and keeping everyone separate  It seems like it just causes a lot of problems by allowing people to choose their faction. And how would they manage to keep people from being divergent since I cannot believe almost everyone seem to have no other strong personality types except the one of the faction they grew up in. 

Beatrice was a character who I quickly grew to dislike. She was somewhat sympathetic at the beginning of the book, but once her initiation began, I found her to be cruel and heartless. The initiation into Dauntless took why too long and of course there was the obligatory romance. Beatrice mentioned a few times that she found Four scary, but still became attracted to him. She has the body of a pre-pubescent child and was an asshole. So why the romance? Then there was so melodrama at the end of the book. I'll probably read the second book eventually, but it will take a while. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are fans of young adult dystopian novels.