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Thanks for checking me out! This is a work in progress so far, but before too long I will be up and running smoothly. Check back for book and movie reviews, challenges, and much more! Feedback welcome :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Follow Friday #4

Wow....it has been so long since I have been here it is ridiculous!! So glad to be back in the blogging world with soooo much to catch up on. This is one of those things!!

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View. I love checking it out each week and it's a great way to make some terrific connections and new blogger friends.



 
This week's question:
 
Q. Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).
 
Without a doubt, mine would be Gone With the Wind. I first read this book at my grandmother's house when I was 13 and I was hooked. This book sparked my love of reading and I have read it through several times. I loved Scarlett and thought it was so great that even though she was a bit of a spoiled princess...she was still a strong, independant woman. I love it!!
 
Now for the fun!! Head on over to Parajunkee and follow the rules. If you already have been there...start hopping with the great blogs below. Happy Friday!!!
 
 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Official Retribution Trailer!!!

Are YOU a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon? I know I am. To celebrate today's release of the latest in the Dark Hunter series, RETRIBUTION, take a peek at the official book trailer.








RETRIBUTION




"...Harm no human…"

A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he’d spend eternity protecting the humans he’d once considered prey.

Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief- Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters..."    


Get an excerpt of the book at Sherrilyn Kenyon's Official Site, here!!

Wanna get your chance to WIN a copy of this great new release? Yeah ya do!! Just leave a comment with your email address and tell me who YOUR fav Dark Hunter is!!

Contest open to US and Canadian citizens ONLY. Contest closes August 11 so get commenting!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Tour: Rhapsody for Lessons Learned or Remembered



The Book:

Georgia Banks-Martin walks us through an art gallery. We view art, which she has processed and questioned, through her lens: Lawrence, Monet, Van Gogh, Beardon, Sargent, Degas, to name a few of the artists. She challenges the reader to face slavery, grief, and joy, to feel the weight the South bears, to examine art across centuries for lessons. These poems revive what has been omitted in our history books-individual life stories. She uses sound, music and voice to make imagery pulse in these ekphrastic poems. In her poem "Railroad Station," after a Jacob Lawrence: "Those leaving the towns where father and mother/labored in fields without being offered a yard of thread spun/from the cotton they pulled, have assembled./Packed: Hopes of work, three bedroom homes/water heated in water tanks, classrooms." As memories populate her poems, so does the theme of hope permeate her book; in Death Dancing, after a Max Slevogt: "I wish memories could be buried as easily as bodies." . . . a book to remember as you stand face to face with art.

My Thoughts:

When I had originally decided to host a spot on this tour, I wasn't quite sure what I would be getting into. New authors are always a little scary and exciting at the same time. When I finally sat down to read this book...I was glad that I took the leap!

Rhapsody for Lessons Learned or Remembered is a terrific collection for any lover of poetry and the written word. With each page more powerful than the last, how can you pass up the chance to read it?

Georgia Ann Banks-Martin has such a wonderful way with words that I couldn't put it down. In this collection of poetry, you can really feel her struggles, thoughts, experiences, and feelings. You become who she is. Poem after poem of deep, meaningful art flows through each page and I was mesmerized. This is definitely a great afternoon read to just curl up with a glass of wine and enjoy!!


My Rating: 4.5 Stars

To find out more information about Ms. Georgia Ann Banks-Martin, you can find her and her works at these great places:




Contest Time!!!

For being a host for this great tour, I have graciously been given the chance to give away one (1) paperback copy of Rhapsody for Lessons Learned or Remembered. Wanna win? Yeah you do! Simply write a comment below with your email and let me know that you've checked out this post. Extra entries will go to those who checked out Ms. Banks-Martin on Facebook and her personal site.

Contest closes midnight July 31 and is open to US, Canada, and UK.  





Wanna know where Ms Banks-Martin will be tomorrow? You'll find her visiting with Sue @ Books, Books, The Magical Fruit. Be sure to stop in!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Tangled Past by Leah Braemel

From Amazon: Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she’ ll finally find the love and acceptance she’ s always craved. Her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can’ t change—her husband’ s love for another man.
Jackson Kellar’ s determined to do right by his bride, yet he’ s torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.
Ranch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson’ s loyalties so divided, and doesn’ t want Sarah hurt either. How can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution—a permanent threesome.
With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’ s solution their path to happiness—or will others destroy what they’ ve found together?

My Thoughts:
What can I say about a book that has two hot cowboys and a very explorative young women? Freakin’ awesome….that’s what I can say about it!!

When Sarah first discovers the secret relationship between best friends Jack and Nate, she has no idea what to think, but is instantly intrigued. Go girl!! Fortunately for her, her father catches her with the two cowboys in the family barn and automatically assumes tat she is “servicing” the both of them. Not a bad idea, but really she was just getting an eyeful. The misunderstanding leads to her marrying Jack and this is where the story really begins.

What comes next is kind of typical in your every day love triangles. Nate is jealous of Jack. Nate is jealous of Sarah. Sarah is jealous of Nate. Jack just wants everyone to get along. Isn’t that really what we all want in the end?

This was my first experience with m/m/f romances and I gotta tell you…it’s got me hooked! The story was great. I love that Sarah wasn’t afraid of what she saw when she peeked in on Nate and Jack at first. She was inspired by it. Good for her. That the three of them discovered each other in such a meaningful way…not only sexually but emotionally as well…this was perfect.

At first, I had thought that the story could have stood to be a little bit longer, with a bit more of Jack and Nate’s backgrounds and a bit more in depth with the relationship between the three of them after they had decided to continue with their relationship permanently…but after a second thought I think that the book has an almost perfect length. It was a great bedside read with lots of that sexual goodiness that makes you want more.

I will definitely be looking for more from Leah Braemel from now on.

My Rating: 4 Stars

To find out more about Leah Braemel's Tangled Past, click here!!

I recieved this book by Carina Press for my honest review and was in no way paid for this review or to promote sales of this book.

Follow Friday #3

It's Friday and that means it's time for Parajunkee's weekly Follow Friday!!


This week's question:

Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

To avoid being pelted with random objects when I say ANY of the Twilight series, I am going to have to say book 4 in the Vampire Diaires: Dark Reunion


I LOVE the TV show so when I decided to read the books, I was super excited. So not a good idea but I bore through it. When I got to this book, it was like watching a train wreck. I couldn't look away...but it was soooo painful to get through. Massive disappointment.

Be sure to Follow Friday with Parajunkee and her Feature Friday guest Lisa @ Read. Breathe. Relax.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Dreaming of You by Barbara Mack

From Amazon: Kathleen Donaldson is proud, 26 years old and unmarried. She's a woman of power and strength, and some even might call her sharp-tongued and bossy. That makes her an oddity in the 1800's. No matter what others think, Kathleen has adapted to her life, and most of the time she feels fulfilled and happy. But Kathleen has a secret and keeping it hidden is becoming increasingly hard to do.

Then Dr. Duncan Murdoch arrives in town. He's attractive and exotic and Kathleen feels an immediate attraction. Before she knows it, he's discovered her secret, and tells her she needs to 'spend some time with him' if she wants him to keep quiet. Kathleen knows what that means, and she's determined to find some way out of this predicament. No matter how much her own mother throws her at the gorgeous Doctor's head...or how irresistible she finds him.
My Thoughts:

26 years old and still unmarried, Kathleen is an outcast in her time. She lives her life for herself and dances to the beat of her own drummer. A strange way for a woman to live in the 1800’s? Absolutely. What other’s don’t see, is that Kathleen has a secret that no one…not even those closest to her….would ever guess. It’s this secret that earns her a ton of one-on-one time with hottie Dr. Duncan. Duncan is new in town, single, gorgeous, and he’s a Dr….so you know he’s good with his…hands. Did I mention that he’s a hot, single, doctor? Just sayin’.

Duncan is searching desperately for the girl of his dreams. This is a man who wants to settle down, and now. But not with just anyone…oh no…he has his perfect woman all mapped out from looks to attitude. Fate has a different idea and…he finds Kathleen instead. She isn’t the one he has been dreaming about…but there is something about her that he just can’t get past. He needs to get to know her. When he discovers the secret she has been keeping…one that would get her killed if it got out…he takes advantage and trades her friendship for his silence. A little greasy of him, but an effective way to get her attention at least.

Kathleen is not the type that likes being forced to do anything, so Duncan’s blackmail of having her “spend some quality time with him” less than impresses her. Can’t really blame the girl in that way. I mean, I am all for sexy doctors wanting some attention, but if you gotta force her to be with you…not cool Dr. Hot Stuff. For the record, when Duncan says “spend time with”, that’s what he really means. No sex, no kissy, nothing like that at all. Just some old fashioned getting to know one another. What a sweet guy….good place for an “Awwww” moment I think.

I loved the storyline. Old fashioned, headstrong girl with a huge secret meets hunky newcomer doctor. Even her mother loves this guy. Match made in heaven? I think so. The characters were well done and believable. Although I wouldn’t have thought that an outcast like Kathleen would have made a good heroine, Barbara Mack makes it work.

The only thing I found about the story is that it could have been longer. This was a quick read and a novella to begin with, but I found that too much was going on in a short span. There could have been more courting going on (yes, I said courting…the book is set back in the day, so I figured…why not) and maybe a bit more conflict than there really was. A little meat added to the story would not have been minded. For a short story though, I really enjoyed it.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

To read more about Barbara Mack's Dreaming of You, or to buy a copy yourself, visit Amazon.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Canadian Giveaway Winners Announced!!!

We have our winners!!!


1st Place: Misty Leigh

Prizes:
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2nd Place: Darlene

Prizes:

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3rd Place: Tania Walsh

Prizes:

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Special mention goes to Donna, winner of Sweet Light from a contest by Close Encounters with the Night Kind.

Congrats Donna!! Enjoy your book!

Congrats to our winners and big thanks to all who entered!!

Now for our hosts!! As a thank you, I have drawn a name from our assortment of hosts to win a special "thank you" gift for being so awesome!!

And the winner is....cue drum roll.....


Mysti Parker


Congrats Mysti! You win a $10 Amazon.com gift card to being so kick-ass!!



Hope to see you all again next time around!!

Don't forget to Love, Laugh, and Read daily...it saves lives. Proven fact ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 3: Review & Interview with Lisa Vaughan

Wow...two nights in a row...I think I'm getting too old to stay up this late. oh well, we are at the beach and loving it. Kids are having a ball. What more could we ask for?

Day 3 already. How the times flies. Today, I am reposting a review I had done of The Gifted Ones by Lisa Vaughan. I am, however, adding an interview with it!! Yay!! I loved this book and just had to pick inside Lisa's head some. Thankfully, she is very easy to get along with.

So without further ado...Lisa Vaughan's The Gifted Ones:



I have issues with reviewing memoirs. So much so that I almost turned this book away at first. I think there is a lot of pressure to try and enjoy a memoir because it is actually the story of someone's life. If you don't like the book...was their life not good enough? Were thier hardships not entertaining enough to keep you interested? Was their story not heartfelt enough to make you tear up? These are the thoughts that go through my mind when I read a book about someone else's life. I can't stand the pressure of feeling so obligated to like a book, that I am not even thinking about the story as I read. It's a total turn-off. Luckily, Lisa had me so immersed in her story that I didn't even have a chance to think about that pressure. I was completely into the story and aware of nothing else (my poor children were forced into video games all day to keep them quiet while I read. Such good little monkeys they are). Lisa is a fantastic storyteller and I love the way she writes. Not only from the heart, but like a REAL person. She writes the way most of us think...except it makes sense. Love it!!

During a time when being gay meant being shunned by the world, a young Lisa met her soul mate and hung on to her principles throughout the hardships of hiding her relationship from the world; her parents, her friends, and later...her co-workers. Her life was forged before she even finished high school when she didn't see what others saw..."How could loving someone be wrong?".

From her parents not understanding her (and practically imprisoning her), to a little more understanding, to eventually moving out of home and beginning her life with her true love Lisa's view on her life never wavered. She had it all planned out, and it was to be great. Like most teenage dreams, however, life became a living nightmare. We see her through her rise to freedom and her party scene, to her undeniable confusion with her own identity and sexuality and her eventual fall from high to the depressing low. This is life. No pretty pictures. No hiding what's real. This is what I loved about this book. She tells it how it is. Nothing is as important as that.

One things that got me about Lisa's story was how she names herself and her partner, Selina, Special, Gifted, Prophets...living in The Place. I loved it. She took her relationship with another female, when they were young and living in a world where this was soo not the norm, and she put such a terrific spin on it. Like this was their time to shine, their special secret, their right above all others. This showed me so much into Lisa's personality and views on homosexuality. If only everyone thought that way then (and now, come to think of it), what a Place it would be.

You have to give it to Lisa Vaughn. She threw her entire adolescent experience, from the naive pre-teen to the fall-from-grace as a young adult, into this tell-all book. It is the perfect coming-of-age story for any confused youth because it takes us into the mind of a teenage girl in the midst of an identity crisis. It shows us what we can overcome if we stick with our beliefs. It tells us that life may not be what it seems from the outside looking in. What story is there that is more powerful than that? None that I can think of.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely without a doubt. I would read it again and when my daughter comes to an age where the language is appropriate (although let's face it...kids grow up too quick and know all about sex and drugs WAY too early for my taste as it is) this would definitely be considered a staple for her reading list. What teenager doesn't have the same thoughts and feelings Lisa had in this book? None that I know of. That's what makes it so special.

If you are looking for a read that is quick, easy and speaks volumes...The Gifted Ones if defintely a must-read. I have not read a more powerful and inspiring book yet this year, or last...maybe even ever. This is for sure a new favorite on my list...where will it place on yours?

And now, the interview:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself that we don't already know? Fun quirks or habits?


I bet if you talked to my husband, he'd have a whole list! I'm a Leo, so of course I'm very determined and strong willed – if you read the book, you already know that! But I do have two fears in this world. My biggest fear, by far, is losing my teeth! And my second fear is having to get stitches! Thankfully neither has happened to me yet, and hopefully never will!


 Your story is incredible. What was the inspiration behind taking these tough moments of your life, and turning them into a published book?




Truthfully, after my mother's death in 2005, I found myself dealing with a lot of 'unfinished business' between her and I - a lot of anger still. In fact, I was surprised at just how much of a grudge I still held against her! So after many 'therapy walks' on the beach with myself, I started to untangle the ties that still held me down, and with that came an understanding for her actions, as well as Selina's...and ultimately mine. When I finally decided to write a book, and saw the words staring back at me in black and white, I had an 'A-HA moment', and that's when I truly understood, and was able to let go and forgive - once and for all.


 What is your relationship with Selina now? Do you continue to keep in touch?


That's the best part of the story! Shortly after I finished my draft of 'The Gifted Ones', I knew I had to find her before I even thought of publishing - just to be fair to her and to make sure I had her blessing. I contacted her through an aunt who still lived in Indiana, and the rest, as they say, is history! We practically took off right where we left off, and have been in contact on a weekly basis ever since. We live cross-country from one another, but have visited each other on numerous occasions throughout the year, and have even met each other's partners - everything is cool! We truly are life-long BFF's, and I couldn't imagine my life without her at this point. I call her my soul sister, and plan on being in her life until one of us takes our last breath. I firmly believe she came into my life for a reason, and I do not plan on losing that tie again.



 You are now married, with a family of your own...how does your husband feel about this aspect of your life and your decision to write?


Well, that 'little' piece of the puzzle was the only missing link in our relationship. I hadn't even hinted about my story throughout our 14 year relationship! Not because I was shameful or embarrassed, just mainly out of respect for his 'jealous' feelings he has had in the past for my other past relationships...I knew if he couldn't handle me talking about other men, he certainly couldn't handle another woman! In fact, I never told anyone until I sat down one afternoon with a good friend of mine, and my story just seemed to 'leak out'! She was actually the one that convinced me to write a book about it. That day she confirmed what I had known all along – that my story was special, and it had to be told. So that day I came home and banged out the first draft in two weeks! I had no idea, until I started writing, how pent-up my feelings really were! It felt so good to purge and heal – both with my mother and Selina. Of course the next step was to let my husband read it – and that was probably the hardest part of this whole process! But deep down I knew he loved me unconditionally, and thankfully, he proved me right. (Whew!)


In The Gifted Ones, you had taken a trip to Florida and mentioned that you felt like you were home. You currently live there now, did your life as a teenager have any impact on deciding to live there as an adult?



Funny thing...I actually wound up in Florida because I won a vacation on a radio station! I was still married to my first husband when we came to Orlando with my young son to claim our prize. Coincidentally, some good friends of ours had just moved to Sarasota, so we swung over to the gulf coast for a visit. I knew I loved Florida, and after our visit, the deal was sealed for me. Within a year or so we moved down also! So see, sometimes fate does have a plan for you!



Do you feel that your experiences, with Selina and otherwise, had a substantial impact on how you live your life today?


Without a doubt! No question about it! My experiences with Selina has made me the person I am today, for sure!



Growing up was tough for you. Looking back now, if you could, is there anything you would have changed or done differently?


Absolutely not! Like I said, everything that I went through - the good, bad, and ugly - has solely formed the person that stands before me in the mirror today. And you know what? I truly like that person! It has given me an insight that I might not have had otherwise. I know what its like to be an outsider, to be judged for who and what you are – or what people perceive you as being. If anything, my life has taught me empathy, and of course, acceptance.




 If you could send a letter to your 13 year old self, what advise would you give?

Oh man...I would tell that girl to just hang on, it will eventually get so much better! Life is a marathon, not a sprint! And you will experience more love in your life than you ever knew was possible. And to not doubt yourself...you are experiencing all these things for a reason! They are forming the person you were meant to be! (Although at the time, I had NO idea! But what teenager does?)

Although today's teens live in a time where it is somewhat more acceptable to be gay, there is still a lot of conflict about it. Any advise for those living with that secret?


Yes, its hard to believe, but painfully true. You'd think in the year 2011 we would have this 'issue' settled by now! To me, its just as important as the civil rights movement of the sixties! We are SO past due! But I'd say this, just like I would say to my thirteen-year-old self – it truly will get better. I believe we are on the brink of putting this segregation of homosexuals behind us in the near future – it will happen with this next generation coming up, long after all the "extreme conservatives" are gone. It will be a no-brainer, I truly hope! I am counting on the teens of today to make tomorrow fair for everyone...and I believe they will.


 Do you have plans on continuing with your story or was The Gifted Ones a one-time-deal?



You know, if there's one thing in my life I have learned (the hard way) is never say never!
Who knows? I'm an artist at heart, and self-expression is my breath...so if I find I have something to say worth reading, I certainly will! (And I'd be lying if I told you I hadn't already thought about it myself!) Remember, Selina and I have rekindled our friendship...so maybe, just maybe, a 'Golden Girls' edition may be in the works some day, so stay tuned! Lol


I want to thank Lisa for joining us and for letting me pick at her brain a little bit. I absolutely loved her story "The Gifted Ones" and fully recommend it to anyone!! It is powerful and inspirational!!

To get a chance to win your very own copy, simply leave a comment below and you will gain 2 extra entries into the Great Canadian Giveaway. One of the prize packs will include a copy of "The Gifted Ones" generously donated by Lisa herself!!

 





 








 













Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 2: Interview with Joseph Robert Lewis

Ugh. The day after Canada Day. Lots of fun, not enough sleep. *Yawn*. Oh, well...this is a 4 day celebration. It doesn't happen often.

To celebrate Day 2, I have interviewed the author of Daphne and the Silver Ash, Joseph Robert Lewis (aka Joss Llewelyn)


Welcome to Love, Laugh and Read and thank you so much for agreeing to interview with me today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi Vanessa, thanks for having me! Well, I began my professional career writing about military operations and technologies, and then I moved on to write about software design, medicine, health care, law, finance, history, and everything else under the sun. I was very fortunate to get so many years of experience working in every part of the publishing process from writing and editing to design, illustration, and print/electronic publication, and getting to work with so many great professionals from so many different fields.
On a more personal note, I have a lovely wife and and a young daughter who constantly demands that I tell her stories. I love classical fantasy and mythology as much as mind-bending science fiction, I'm fighting an endless war against delicious foods that are not good for me, and I practice archery in my spare time. Like most people.
What was your inspiration behind Daphne and the Silver Ash?
It's funny, I have a long list of books I want to write and Daphne was not ever on that list. I had just published a new steampunk novel and suddenly Daphne's entire story just fell into my head fully formed. I was partly inspired to create something old fashioned and lyrical like The Last Unicorn, and I partly wanted to write something specifically for my daughter.

So I put everything else on hold and wrote Daphne and the Silver Ash. Everything about it was new and different for me. This is my first novella, and it is the first story I've written in this old fashioned "storyteller" voice and style.

If you could sum up Daphne and the Silver Ash in 5 words....how would you describe it?
Classical, lyrical, mythological, timeless, & exciting. The ampersand doesn't count as a word, right? :-)

I noticed on your website that all your other books are written under your name "Joseph Robert Lewis" while this particular book is written under the name "Joss Llewelyn. Can you enlighten us?
That's a good catch! I've been publishing science fiction and historical fantasy novels under my real name, Joseph Robert Lewis, for a little while now. And those books are all aimed solidly at the general adult reader, meaning they have a bit of action (violence) and romance (sex). Grownups like that stuff.

So when I wrote Daphne, I wanted to set it apart from my other work because Daphne is definitely meant for readers of all ages. In fact, I've been thrilled to hear back from parents who have already been reading Daphne to their kids, or who plan to read it to them now that they have read it themselves. So I made up a pen name to help separate my stories for younger readers. Joss Llewelyn is actually Joseph Robert Lewis. Shh! Don't tell anyone!

When did you start writing? Did you always know this was something you wanted to do, or did you just stumble upon it and think "I should write some books"?
I think I first started writing fiction in high school. Back then I was in love with the American writers of the early twentieth century like Jack London and RE Howard. I wanted to write tense, raw adventures about ancient worlds and man-versus-nature. Unfortunately, I didn't really learn how to finish a story properly for a long time, but eventually I started writing whole novels. I have three trunk novels (half-baked books that will never see the light of day). But now that I'm publishing, I have a huge backlog of planned books, sequels, and series that I just can't wait to write. I plan to be busy for a very long time!
I'm probably one of those writers who would "still write even if I knew for a fact that no one will ever read my stories" so it certainly wasn't a casual decision to start writing.

Can you give our readers some useful tips and tricks that you use when it comes to writing a novel?
I don't have any clever, witty, or new advice. I'm just one more person to say, "Write, write, write, and then write some more." And read too, if you have time. Education helps a little, but writing a book is like any other job. It takes time and effort, there are no shortcuts, and most people's advice won't apply to you because we're all different people and writing is pretty subjective.

But once you're ready to publish, you need to focus on being professional, listening more than you speak, and learning how to digest feedback in a healthy and constructive way. Because the business side of being a writer can range from "Hooray for Amazing Golden Unicorns and Rainbows!!!" all the way down to "Everyone hates me and I can't stop eating Oreos!" You have been warned.

Several writers need a quiet space or a bowl of only green M&M's in order to write their novel. It somewhat centers them to have these things readily available when writing. Do you have any strange habits or routines that get you in the creative mood?
Hmm, my creative mood? No, unfortunately, I'm not one of those fascinating writers with a strange mystique or aura of inspiration (not even a cloak of invisibility!). I'm just an old fashioned workhorse. After 9-ish hours at work and 4-ish hours with my family, I plop down and just start typing away where I left off the night before. No matter my mood!
I will say that I need it to be pretty quiet, and I have to be on my computer. I just cannot function with paper and pen at all anymore. My fingers are baffled by penmanship.

Do you currently have any more terrific stories on the go? If so...can we get a sneak peek?
I have mountains of stuff on the way. In June I released the second installment of The Tale of Asha about two women solving paranormal medical mysteries in India. Right now I'm writing the third installment of my Halcyon steampunk trilogy. And by the end of the year I'll have the last Asha book out, too. After that, I have plans for two sequels to Daphne and the Silver Ash, as well as sequels to my sci-fi adventure Heirs of Mars, and then a superhero murder mystery. And a viking trilogy. And a horror trilogy.

Yep, I have a lot of plans for the next two years.
Thank you so much for answering some questions and donating an e-copy of your novella Daphne and the Silver Ash to our giveaway this week.
Thanks for having me! I certainly hope your readers enjoy Daphne. I'd love to hear from them what they think about it. And if they want to find out more about me and my other books, they can visit my site, which will lead them to my blog, tons of reviews, free downloads, and other stuff.


 
I want to thank Joseph for allowing me to pick at his brain. I love doing it so much. For more information about Joseph and his other works, click the link about to visit his website.

Still looking for extra entries for the giveaway?? Oh, I know you are! Simply leave a comment below this post. That's it! Another 2 entries for you to win one of three prize packs, one of which will include an EBook copy of Joseph's novella, Daphne and the Silver Ash.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 1: Guest Post from Author Debbie Kump

Happy Canada Day All!!!! Today is the day we celebrate what this giveaway is all about. The birth of the country I was born and live in. Canada!! WooHoo!!! I will be partying it up in true East Coast style...camping on the beach with a HUGE bonfire, tons of fireworks and sparklers for the kids, and lots and lots of beer!!

Also, to celebrate, today is Day 1 of my 4 day author celebration. Today, Debbie Kump, author of the Apocolyptic Thriller: 7G, is guest posting to tell us a little bit about her book.







When the fictitious future becomes frighteningly real.

            Cursive is a dying art. Will handwriting be next? With text messaging commonplace and laptop computers becoming more and more integrated into the classroom, will students eventually stop needing the skills to actually write at all? And with Smartphones readily linking to the Internet and mobile telecommunications upgrades from 3G to 4G Networks, what else will the future hold? Will WiFi be everywhere, effectively eliminating the need for cell phone towers?
            My Apocalyptic Thriller, 7G, takes a leap into this fictitious futuristic world. My husband has always been a bit of a futurist. He’d often share his technological ideas for the future with me…then a few years later, we’d laugh when we saw his idea come true. Over two years ago (before the Smartphone and ebook boom) he proposed the idea of hands-free telecommunications. Instead of mobile phones and computer monitors, users could text, surf the Internet, or read an ebook on lenses worn directly over the pupil. The possibilities for these multi-purpose lenses seemed endless: from e-libraries to dream uploads and instant language translations, all accessible with the blink of an eye.
            That’s when my imagination snatched hold of his spark and took off.     
            Instead of carrying Smartphones, users would wear contact lens-sized, extended wear, virtual computer screen and keyboard eye DOTS. With body heat as the sole catalyst required to power the endothermic chemical reaction recharging each battery, both military and civilians alike constantly wear these Digital Optic/Ophthalmic Transmitters (collectively referred to as “DOTS”) and “MUDE” Mobile Uplink Digital Equipment. Using ear DOTS, babies could piggyback off their parents’ MUDEs to listen to soothing melodies. Or dog owners could eliminate unwanted behaviors by using DOTS for bark control and invisible fencing like electronic collars do today.
            This plethora of ideas soon wove itself into a multi-faceted novel, exploring the varied uses of the technology through multiple protagonists and interwoven subplots. I set 7G in the near future, at a time when Smartphones will be obsolete. With the upcoming conversion to 7G Network allowing instantaneous optical and audio recording, limitless military and civilian applications abound. Yet an unexpected programming glitch proves fatal, spelling disaster for the nation. In the aftermath of 7G, the fates of college sophomore Erik Weber and submariner Alyssa Kensington entwine. Will they escape and manage to survive in a crippled world?
            While editing my manuscript for 7G on a flight to my parents’ house over the Christmas holidays, my husband whipped out the SkyMall magazine, pointing to a pair of glasses that provided a GPS digital reading of the wearer’s location.
            I blinked, studying the glasses again. A chill ran down my spine.
            “Freaky,” I told him, my pen poised over a scene where compulsive gamers developed eye shakes from having their pupils flit back and forth rapidly to reach the desired keys on their virtual keyboard eye DOTS.
            Then a few days ago, as my husband was enjoying Eoin Colfer’s recent Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, he paused to have me read a paragraph. In this selection, a centaur named Foaly placed a monocle over one eye to interface with a virtual system through a series of blinks and winks rather than using hardwired equipment.
            Barely believing my eyes, I read the paragraph a second time, wondering when will this type of technology no longer be a work of fiction? Will a time come when all information is easily accessible on contact lenses like the eye DOTS from 7G?
            That time may be here sooner than we think.
            And hopefully will end better than my world does in 7G.


By Debbie Kump
Author of Apocalyptic Thriller, 7G

Now available in ebook:

Available August 1, 2011 in ebook and paperback from World Castle Publishing:

Or visit my website:


I want to thank Debbie for joining us today and letting us know a bit about her book. I know I can't wait to read it :)

Want extra entries for The Great Canadian Giveaway? Sure you do!!! Simply comment below and get yourself 2 extra entries for one of three prize packs...one of which will include and autographed copy of 7G, generously donated by Debbie!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Canadian Giveaway Starts TODAY!!!


11 Blogs, 6 Extra Authors, 25 Prizes, 3 Winners!!!

What better way to spend the Canada Day weekend then with a giveaway? To celebrate the birth of this great country, myself and all the hosts are offering up this great giveaway!! How do you get in on this? Simple. Just add your name to the InLinz at the bottom of the page and hop on through to the other blogs for additional entries. Be sure to comment at each blog with the amount of entries you got there so we can keep track of them. Simple as that!!

This contest is open Internationally so that everyone will be able to celebrate Canada's Birthday with us!!! Awesome, right?

Our Hosts:

Close Encounters With the Night Kind - Interview with Jen Wylie
 and Me...of course...Love, Laugh & Read

The Prizes:

Salem Moon (EBook)
End of Mae (EBook)
Sweet Light (EBook)
Immortal Embrace (EBook)
Hill 170 (EBook)
Counter Camouflage: Serbian Urban Story (EBook)
Daphne and the Silver Ash (EBook)
Phobic Dawn (ARC Copy)
The Gifted Ones (Paperback)
7G (Autographed Copy)
On Dark Shores: The Lady (Free Smashwords code)
A Ranger's Tale (EBook)


2 of Each:

Loitering Shadows (PDF)
Stormy Defense (PDF)
Beyond the Lady (PDF)
The Gardener's Ice Maiden (PDF)

PLUS

3 Mystery prizes...don't miss out on your chance to be one to be one of the 3 lucky winners!!

To find out more info on any of the books listed above...just click 'em!!


Special Mention to some great authors who have graciously donated copies of their books for this giveaway but aren't joining in the hop itself:




So...how to you get in on the greatness? It's simple:

Add your name to the InLinkz tools at the bottom of the post (you only need to do this the once, the same Linkz should be on every blog)

Follow the instructions on how to earn extra entries from each blog you're on

Comment on the post at each blog with the total entries you earned there. Please remember to leave your email in the comment so we know how to contact you if you win (if you are not comfortable leaving your email, send me a message with your entries so that I know icedancerlilith@gmail.com)

Follow the links to get to each blog on the hop and repeat until you're done!! Easy peasy!!Some blogs may have links to other bloggers posted, while others will just send you back here by clicking on Mr. Speedo (thanks to Mysti for naming our Canada day Mascot) so be on the lookout!

How do I get extra entries on this blog? Great question!!

+1 GFC Follow
+1 Twitter Follow
+1 Leave a comment on this post

Each day starting tomorrow, I will have a review, interview, or guest post posted with one of our authors who have donated books for this giveaway. Check back each day to find out how you can earn even more entries by commenting on these posts or following our authors. You gotta check back each day to find out though :)

Now get going and happy hopping!!!









Guilty Pleasures #4


Guilty Pleasures is a weekly meme hosted by CJ Duggan and I LOVE her for it. I now look forward to Wednesdays each week. You need to go check her out NOW!!

And now, for my post this week...better late n the day then never :)

We see them all the time, and we hate them. THOSE women. You know the ones...they come on commercials with their long, tanned legs and their killer abs that we dream about. Prancing around the screen promoting the latest exercise fad in their itty bitty sports bras without breaking a sweat or getting their hair out of place. I despise these women. Every time I see one of those Ab Roller or BowFlex commercials, I feel like throwing my popcorn at them and telling them to get a life and leave me to my shows in peace. Then the thinking starts....I could totally look like them. I can exercise. All I gotta do is put the junk food down and get off the couch....tomorrow, yeah...I can look like them tomorrow, Grey's is on. I will exercise after Meredith has another life changing moment. Right.



The only thing about these infomercial spots, is that they hit home. All of a sudden, I am a fitness fiend. So I go out and buy the active wear and the latest Jillian Michaels DVD (seriously, the Biggest Loser is awesome..love her) and get myself ready to get my high school abs back. Yay me!!

Ok, let's stop here. Bet you're all thinking that this week's Guilty Pleasure is working out. Ha, ha....made you think I'm a fit, healthy, happy person. I am actually completely addicted to buying as much exercise programs, books, supplements, and memberships as humanly possible. I do all the research, I have a gym membership, I buy all the latest in fitness health products that I can get my hands on. I absolutely LOVE learning all I can about health, fitness, and the perfect workout designed specifically to give me Buns of Steel and washboard abs. Hubby actually cringes when I come home with bagd from SportChek or Herbal Magic. It all sounds great, doesn't it? Here's the thing though...I never USE any of this stuff.

My Guilty Pleasure is...making it look like I actually work out.

Yeah, I know. This sounds really bad, and it is. I have filled my house with Yoga mats, pedometers, resistance bands, weights, DVD's, books....and the list goes on...and on...and on some more. I can't help it. I can not walk past the local GNC without checking out the newest nutritional supplements. Neither can I resist going online and spending hours coming up with the perfect routine that will keep my waistline trim and my muscles tight. Fitness books and magazines? Oh, I have them all. Never read them...but having them counts, right? I am totally addicted to all of it, and I love every second of it. Don't even get me started on altheltic wear. I can actually feel hubby's veins throbbing when he sees me walk in the door with a SportChek bag. I can't stop!! I think I need FEAA (Fake Exercise Addicts Anonymous) and I need it bad, but it just feels sooo good.



So why do I spend all this time and money to make it look like I actually have somewhat of a fit lifestyle? I think a large part of it is that I love the IDEA of exercising and being fit and that with each thing I buy...I am truly getting myself closer to my 18 year old ass. You know the old saying..."If you buy it, it will shrink"?  Words I live by.


Now don't get me wrong, I am not an unhealthy person. I am incredibly happy with my weight and my body and feel no need to change it...then again, gravity works in mysterious ways and those infomercial bitches do not help the fact that my boobs have dropped several inches since I had my kids. It's a fact of life. Can't help it. Buying the products just makes me feel like I am contributing to my health in some way.



So there you have it. The one thing hubby and I can never agree on. Still trying to convince him to let me buy an Elliptical (keep telling him that if it's in front of the tv, I WILL use it...I mean, look at her...she looks decently happy with hers)...he still won't budge on that one. At least not until I actually use at least one of the hundreds of dollars worth of "useless crap" I already have collecting dust around the house. One day it will be mine...and if i don't use it more than once...at least people will think I do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday #3

Happy Friday All!!





Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.com and it is a great way to connect with some great bloggers!

This week's question:

 In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

Well, I always loved reading fairy tales as a kid, one of my favorites growing up was Peter Pan. I loved little Tinkerbell. As an adult, however, I am hopelessly in love with Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. Hot, hot, hot and oh so good to read!!

Make sure to check out Parajunkee's Feature Blog Mickey @ I'm a Book Shark while you are hopping around this week!! Have a great weekend bloggers!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Fetish by Sherri L. King

Before I get into this review too much, I want to explain that I LOVE vampire romance. One of the things I love about these, however, is that the heroine is usually a badass chick with bridges to burn. She is hot, confident, and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. This being said…I give you….

Fetish by Sherri L. King



From Amazon.com

Within the walls of a high-class hedonists' club, mousy Aerin Peters will find her sexual identity amidst the confusion of her mid-life crisis...But all is not as it would seem within the walls of club Fetish. As Aerin grows closer to her fiendishly provocative escort, Violanti D'Arco, the dangers of her weekend retreats at the club become more apparent to her. She is haunted by her strange new friend and by Fetish itself. Unexplained memory lapses, an ever-growing addiction to Violanti's touch and tales of frightening sexual deviances will drive Aerin to investigate the enigmatic mystery of Fetish and its unseen owner...Aerin's love, her heart, her very life may depend upon these answers. Because at Fetish, nothing is taboo.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit, I have some serious issues with this book. It did bother me a little bit that Aerin is not the typical heroine. She is overweight, underconfident, a bit of a loner, and a 47 year old virgin. Not that I am saying that there's anything wrong with being any of the above...but I like my heroines a certain way. So this was a little strange for me. That being said, I think it's good to branch out and the thought that a curvier woman could be the lead in a book where you totally expect her to get her socks rocked in all the right was was a little refreshing...at first.

What I liked about the heroine being a sexual underdog are the same things that drove me insane throughout the book. Yes, you have no confidence. Yes, you can't believe that a sexy man-beast like Violanti would want to get with you. Oh, well...time to put your big girl panties on and get you some. Seriously, when this hot, hot man turns to her and is telling her how beautiful she is and how he can't wait to have her...she is telling him she would like to just sit and talk and that he doesn't have to feel sorry for her. Ummmm....no honey...NO!!! I don't care how badly you feel about yourself, when Hottie McHott Stuff comes up to you, is harder than steel, and tells you he can't wait to taste you....girl you go with it!!! I actually yelled out loud at her while reading some of this. I couldn't believe it.

Violanti, however, was all that I had expected. Complete and total Alpha. What more could you ask for? Sigh.

Sex? Oh there was sex. Lots of steamy, squealing, mind-niumbing sex. It was awesome. Really. Love it!!

One thing I absolutely hated, though, was that after Aerin started knocking boots with Violanti, she started changing. Granted, this might be an ugly duckling turned swan effect but it still annoyed me. She gained confidence, sure that's to be expected and it's good. She started dressing better, another good thing. Lost weight effortlessly...ummm yeah, I don't think you can lose THAT much in just a few weeks. She also made her very first close friend. Awww moment. So here's what I got outta all of this...get a good lay and all your personal problems are gone, people will like you, and you will be awesome. There was just something about all of this that I didn't really care for. I really can't quite put my finger on it...but whatever it was, it aggravates me.

For the most part, I really enjoyed the book. There were a few parts that drove me crazy, some that made me smile, and others that just plain irritated the hell outta me. Some things you just can't get your head around I guess.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Guilty Pleasures #3


Guilty Pleasures is one of my most favorite weekly memes ever, hosted by CJ Duggan. I look forward to this every single week, so let's get at it!!!



This week I will let you all in on something that drives my hubby nuts and irritates my kids to no end. I love to bake. Don't ask me why, but I really enjoy it. Cookies, pies, muffins, cakes...the whole nine. The issue with that...over half the mix never sees the oven. I am the worst for eating batter and dough!! Some people don't get it, but it is soooo good. What is better than some perfectly made chocolate chip cookies? The uncooked dough that is needed to make it, that's what!! My poor children. I am constantly telling them we can make cookies (which I don't even like, by the way). We get all the ingredients together and then it's time to drop them on the pan and put 'em in the oven. I always prepare enough for at least 2 dozen...but in the 10 minutes it takes for the cookies to cook, the dough starts looking pretty tempting...and I have to explain to my kids why their 24 cookies magically turned into 12. Ooops. I made them bigger this time kids, I swear.

If it was only cookie dough, I wouldn't say that it's strange, but this is me...and let's face it, I can't really half ass anything, so bring on the cake batter and muffin mix! When you were a kid, and your mother was baking a cake, do you remember asking her if you could lick the beaters? I always asked, but since apparently eating raw batter isn't good for you (blah, blah,blah...yada, yada, yada)...I wasn't allowed (sad face). What a buzz-kill. So now as an adult...to hell with the beaters...give me a spoon and let me have at it!!

Muffin mix is a little weird, I can't deny that...and have you ever eated pie dough? There really isn't anything really good about it, but I just can't help it. It's a sickness...I shouldn't be allowed to bake. The worst part of all of this is...I HATE baked goods. Even as a kid, I wouldn't eat cake. I don't care for cookies, and muffins are just icky. Something has to be seriously wrong with me, but that's me! I can't just be "normal".

Does the madness stop there? Yeah, right...have you completely forgotten whose blog you're reading? One of my biggest downfalls (and I actually haven't been caught doing this just yet...) is peanut butter. Not on bread or rolls...that would be too normal...I'm talking right out of the jar (I'm the only person in my house that eats the stuff, so in my mind that makes it ok). Give me a jar of smooth...not crunchy, that stuff is gross...and a spoon and I am all set! This also works with icing. I mean, hey, if I'm going to go nuts on the cake batter I might as well take some icing out of the jar to go with it, right? I remember being a teenager (yes, this started that early) and having a bad break up or fight with my parents...most girls would head for the freezer to grab a pint of Rocky Road...not me. A little tub of vanilla cream cheese icing was more than enough to drown my sorrows in. It just kinda stuck. Of course I can't sit with the WHOLE tub of it...way too much sugar, but several heaping spoonfuls is just the perfect amount!!

So there you have it. My deep, dark, kinda sad but incredibly yummy secret. Just one of my many quirks I guess. Thinking on it now, I'm shocked I don't weigh a ton...oh well...hmmmm think I might go make the kiddies some cookies :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Great Canadian Giveaway

Get in on the Giveaway!!

Photobucket


To celebrate Canada Day, I will be hosting a blog hop from June 30 to July 4. I'll be giving away 2 books per day of the giveaway myself, along with author interviews and guest posts. Wanna know how you can join in on the fun?

Sign up here

I will email you one of the buttons (personally, I like the guy in the Canada undies...nice)

Get something to giveaway

Promote, promote, promote!! The more bloggers we get, the bigger the event!!

Link to the Hop!! (I am getting one ready now)

All bloggers will need to provide at least 1 item to giveaway. Bloggers and authors do NOT need to be Canadian to join, but contests will need to be open to Canadian residents. Book Depository is a great way to send without the cost of shipping. If you need anything or have any questions...just ask me!!

That's it!! Ler's get as many as we can and make this a great event!!! Terrific way to get new followers and make this a Canada Day to remember!!

And as a thank you to the fabulous bloggers that will be involved...I will be doing a special draw on the last day just for you!! What more incentive do you need??


Looking forward to having you all involved!!!!