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Friday, August 29, 2014

FETCH by Adam Glendon Sidwell—Book Review/Giveaway

Fetch Blog Tour 




Fetch
   



Fetch by Adam Glendon Sidwell   Book Summary:

A story for anyone who's ever been loved by a dog or given one a home.

At least nine sunsets away, there is a place where dogs can do what they want. But they are not all the same, and when a special one has the courage to fly, he finds something unexpected beyond the tenth horizon.  


Purchase your copy
 





Author Adam Glendon Sidwell:
Adam
In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Pacific Rim, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He really enjoyed writing 81,854 less words in his new picture book FETCH than he wrote in his first EVERTASTER novel, and hopes that you will like the ones he picked. Besides, FETCH has pictures.

Adam has also been rightfully accused of writing the upcoming novel CHUM.


 




Praise for the book:

“If you need & want a book for younger children that does not involve zombies, monsters, or overdone "superhero's", and just want a good old fashioned great story, perfect illustrations, and a captivating experience, then "Fetch" should be ordered quickly.”—Carol Anne Merrill Miller

“Simple, yet engaging, storyline appeals to readers of all ages and the illustrations glue your eyes to pages!” –Doodles

“The art work enchanted, enthralled, and grabbed me in ways paintings can and often do.” –Kindle Customer


 


Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/13/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway



My Review:




Just read Fetch with my boys, who are dog lovers, and they were hysterically laughing at some of the antics displayed. They wanted me to quickly turn the pages, and each pointed to show the other one what the dog he saw was doing. Then we had to go back slowly over each page for them to devour again.
The drawings are delightful, and the boys had a hard time agreeing to disagree which activity they liked the best. If you want to have a great dialogue with your little one, this is the book for you. So I asked them “where do the dogs come from?” You will love their answers after reading this sweet, colorful, and eye catching little book.
Don’t miss out on this great sharing experience with your child, you won’t be disappointed!

I received this book from Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pump Up Your Book Presents The Banana Bunch Book Virtual Book Publicity Tour

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Dawn Carroll’s The Banana Bunch Book book blitz August 4 – August 29!
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PUYB Inside the Book




Banana Bunch 2


Title: The Banana Bunch
Author: Dawn Carroll
Publisher: Amolibros
Pages: 120
Genre: Children’s Book
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Purchase at AMAZON
The monkeys have a human friend called Sheila.
Sheila is in hospital – and she hates the hospital food.
The monkeys decide that something simply has to be done…
When their first attempt at delivering bananas to Sheila is thwarted the monkeys decide to form The Banana Bunch, a secret society dedicated to the delivery of delicious, health-giving bananas to Sheila and all the other unwell people at the hospital. Banana delivery proves, however, a little trickier than they had expected…

amazon

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PUYB Meet the Author

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Dawn Carroll was born in London, to a family who loved to read – and who also moved house with great regularity. One of the first tasks on arrival at each new home would be to find the nearest lending library, with the result that Dawn grew up with a great love of books. Encouraged by family and teachers, Dawn also started to write short stories.
In adulthood, Dawn’s busy life as a hospital doctor left little time for leisure writing. Indeed, The Banana Bunch stories would probably never have been written had Dawn not, one fateful day, discovered that falling from even a very small tightrope can have devastating consequences… but that’s another story!
Unable to return to her chosen profession, things seemed very black for a while. And then The Banana Bunch monkeys bounced into Dawn’s world….
Since then the monkeys (and Dawn) have been having a great time – telling the stories of their adventures in print and online, and also travelling far and wide to source new story ideas and to meet new friends.

Find out more about Dawn and the Banana Bunch at www.thebananabunchbook.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shattered Secrets (Cold Creek, #1) by Karen Harper






Every town has its secrets…

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio, is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Now a grown woman with a bright future, she is certain she has put the past behind her. But when she inherits the family home, Tess must confront the demons that still haunt her and the town of Cold Creek.

Gabe McCord has always blamed himself for what happened to Tess. He had been a teenager when she was snatched from the group of children he was responsible for watching. Now Gabe has taken on the role of sheriff and hopes to shed new light on the cold case, especially given his growing feelings for Tess.

Tess isn't ready to recall what happened to her, and she has no intention of digging up any details that might remind her of the truth. But when another child in the town goes missing, she's certain it's related to her return to Cold Creek. Together,Tess and Gabe will have to work to unlock their painful memories in order to save another child and heal their damaged souls, for good…



About The Author 


A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.


 
 
My Review:
Shattered Secrets is the first book in this trilogy, and if the others are like the first, you won’t be able to put it down. What a heart racing read, and stomach in your throat, you never know what is around the next bend.
The book begins with Teresa, now Tess returning to her old home, the town where she had been kidnapped as a little girl. She needs to sell the home now that her mother has passed and left it to her. What she is afraid of is reliving the hidden or suppressed memories.
Tess is now back in town and reunited with the young man, now sheriff who was watching a bunch of children on that fateful day. Gabe has had a hard time forgiving himself, and was glad that Teresa came home.
As we travel this quaint Ohio town of Cold Creek, we meet a number of questionable people. While we are there we learn that two more little girls have gone missing, and then a third is taken. Who is stealing little ones? Each person we meet is suspect, and just as you begin to believe this is the one, another one comes along, that triggers another memory in Tess.
I really didn’t see it coming as to whom the demented person was, a really big surprise that blew my mind. A sick individual that seems to have everyone fooled, including me. Don’t miss this thriller that will keep you on your toes, it is excellent!!

I receive this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harlequin MIRA, and was not required to give a positive review. 

 

Pump Up Your Book Presents Waiting for Heaven Book Blast – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

 
Waiting For Heaven Banner 2


Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Heather Gillis’ Waiting for Heaven Book Blast August 1- 29!



Waiting For Heaven 2


Title:  Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle
Author: Heather Gillis
Genre: Religion / Memoir / Spirituality
Publisher:  WestBow Press
Publication Date: March 20, 2014
ISBN:  978-1-4908-2786-5

Life can sometimes lead us to unexpected places, to only leave us broken, desperate, and hurting. Heather Gillis and her husband, Mac, waited in anticipation for the birth of their third child. Like many Christian couples, their dreams and expectations in marriage, parenthood, and daily life developed differently than they’d planned, and left them grieving a life that would never be. Their journey gives insight into a new normal and uncovers the stepping stones of the healing process. In their process, they re- discovered God’s abounding love through their experiences of joy, heartbreak, and purpose. Heather reaches out to parents around the globe to speak openly about being a wife, mother, friend, relative, or stranger during life-changing trials and devastating struggles. In God’s love, she has found beauty in the midst of pain and struggle, as well as peace in His presence on Earth while waiting for Heaven.

Book Excerpt: 
Life is not about how comfortable I can be; to expect life to be comfortable is unrealistic. I’m not exempt from the harshness or pain of this world. I have realized since Bowen’s passing that there are no guarantees in life; to think otherwise leads to disappointment. When I was pregnant, I assumed Bowen would be healthy. I assumed that when I left the house, I would return, unharmed. I assumed for some reason I would make it through life unscathed; I never thought I would be writing these words.
We can do all the right things in life, but that doesn’t guarantee us rewards or benefits in this life. We did not choose the path we are walking, but God willing, we will endure what comes our way and to where God wants us to go. We can have all the plans in the world but God is in the driver’s seat, and God knows what he is doing; we just have to trust him. Uncomfortable situations have taught me to trust in God, and I have learned more than I ever thought I would; and still am.

Purchase Book at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble


PUYB Meet the Author




View More: http://shannonallenphotography.pass.us/2014Meet Heather Gillis. In her book, Waiting for Heaven, Heather recalls the story of her infant son, Bowen, and her family’s journey with polycystic kidney disease. Through Bowen’s short life and death, she and her husband, Mac, discovered the true meaning of God’s love and grace. By telling her poignant story in the book and speaking to groups, Heather hopes she can help others through the challenges of loss and devastation; giving hope that their can be joy and happiness again.
After Bowen’s death, Heather founded Bowen’s Hope, a ministry serving kidney disease kids and their families,
especially those getting dialysis treatments at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She’s also involved with Camp Maska for dialysis patients in Arizona, and has raised over $50,000 for the PKD Foundation. In addition, Heather volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, an organization serving meals and providing temporary housing to families with children in the hospital.
Heather works part time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She and Mac have two living children, Brooklyn and Blake. With a serving heart, Heather’s passions are her family and helping others.
Visit Heather online at www.bowenshope.com
Contact Heather at:
Website: www.bowenshope.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bowenshope.com   // www.facebook.com/heather.gillis.581
Twitter: www.twitter.com/heathergillis6






PUYB Giveaway



Pump Up Your Book and Author Heather Gillis are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins August 1 and ends on August 29, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

A Simple Crossroads: A Lancaster Crossroads Novella (Lancaster Crossroads, #0.5) by Rosalind Lauer







In an original eBook novella set in the Amish community of Lancaster County—sure to captivate readers of Cindy Woodsmall and Beverly Lewis—Rosalind Lauer explores the choices a heart makes for love.

Lizzy King has been blessed by nearly five years of marriage to her husband, Joe, but her heart is heavy. Grieving the child she carried only briefly, Lizzy is uncertain how to heal. In an Amish community where big families and laughing children are a way of life, she feels lost. Thank goodness for her friend Juanita, whose family owns the Puerto Rican restaurant next door to the King family’s cheese shop.

Nita understands the pressure and joys of a large family, and she, too, is at a crossroads. Nita’s strict parents intend for her to marry a man she doesn’t love—but her heart already belongs to another. Knowing the time has come to take a stand, Nita struggles to find the courage to fight for her future.

As two women help each other to find their way home to love, they discover that the heart is the brightest star—and its guiding light cannot be extinguished.

Includes an exclusive preview of the first novel in Rosalind Lauer’s upcoming Lancaster Crossroads series, A Simple Faith.
 
About The Author
Rosalind Lauer is the author of A Simple Winter, A Simple Spring, A Simple Autumn, A Simple Faith, A Simple Hope, and the novella A Simple Crossroads. She grew up in a large family in Maryland and began visiting Lancaster County’s Amish community as a child. Lauer attended Wagner College in New York City and worked as an editor for Simon & Schuster and Harlequin Books. She now lives with her family in Oregon, where she writes in the shade of some towering two-hundred-year-old Douglas fir trees.  
 
 
My Review:
 
We are crossing two cultures here, one Amish and one English from a strong ethnic Puerto Rican family. They both help at Market Place, Juanita, an Amish wife, and Nita, trying to please her parents.
When Juanita suffers a miscarriage it is Nita that helps her, thus a strong friendship is founded. While Juanita struggles with her loss, and coping with not having a baby, she confides more and more in Nita. When Nita needs someone to talk to Juanita is there for her.
You wonder how long these two women on different paths will be able to stay friends. When Nita’s parents find out her secret, will she be able to return to the Market, or will Juanita’s Amish roots bring her home and not at work any longer?
I enjoyed how this book worked out, not always like I thought it would. Loved the compassion and faith these people showed, don’t miss excellent book by a great storyteller Rosalind Lauer. Enjoy!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Ballantine Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

Pump Up Your Book Tours Presents The Big Disrupter Virtual Book Publicity Tour

The Big Disrupter Banner


Pump Up Your Book Tours is pleased to bring you Paul Markun‘s The Big Disrupter (Thriller) release day blitz July 1 and virtual book tour July 1 – September 30.


The Big Disrupter

TitleThe Big Disrupter
Author: Paul Markun
Publisher: Portfolio
Publication Date: June 13, 2014
Pages: 454
ISBN: 978-0-9914862-0-5
Genre: Thriller
Format: Paperback / PDF / eBook
An anonymous donor creates a prize for One Billion Dollars to inspire social entrepreneurs to promote world change. Lionel Lane, an idealistic entrepreneur, partners with his brilliant ex-girlfriend Maxine Gold to turn around his struggling San Francisco-based company Double Vision Beverages to compete for the Big Disrupter Award. With the help of a venture capitalist and an eccentric financier, Double Vision expands into energy drinks using the pure water from the mountains of Telluride, Colorado. Talented 21-year-old extreme skier, Reddi Christiansen, becomes the face of their quest for the youth market. One by one the leading competitors in the Big Disrupter fall victim to unexplained tragedies. The police are mystified. The prize for social good becomes a death trap, but too rich to resist. Desperate for protection, Lionel, Maxine and Reddi enlist a former Navy SEAL cyber guru. The faster they race towards the approaching award deadline, the more the escalating dangers threaten to spin them off a cliff.


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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

 


PUYB Meet the Author


 Paul Markun

Paul Markun grew up an entrepreneur and dreamer, starting with his first paper route at age nine in the Canal Zone of Panama. Living in Telluride, Colorado, he started four companies with best friends before he was 24, including Fly By Night Builders, The Illusions Company, High Country Trekkers–you get the idea; great names, cool ideas, not much income. He moved to Silicon Valley, got more education and tech experience, and started SoftIRON Systems and Fullspeed Networks, and rode the wave of the late 1990s to success. He sold SoftIRON Systems to the Williams Company (WilTel), a Fortune 300 company. In 2001 his company Fullspeed was acquired by Callisma, which became Pac Bell and then AT&T. You know them, right? In the first decade of the 2000s, he joined fellow entrepreneurs to lead marketing for Netcordia, which later IPO’d as Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX). He also ran marketing for Sitecore, a web software company, growing it 10 X from an $8 million fledgling niche provider to an established global corporation. Paul continues to be involved with emerging companies to this day. Paul met his wife Rachel, an attorney, when he was 18 and she was even younger at the University of Chicago. Their fountains of inspiration are their two sons and a daughter. A passionate story teller, he turned his energies to writing about topics and characters close to his own heart. His first novel is The Big Disrupter.  
Connect with Paul Markun: Website:  http://www.paulmarkun.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.markun Facebook (Fan Page): https://www.facebook.com/thebigdisrupter Twitter: https://twitter.com/pmarkun Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8304205.Paul_Markun

Friday, August 22, 2014

In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3) by Sarah Sundin






In Perfect Time | Wings of the Nightingale series
Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.
Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?
Learn more and purchase a copy at Sarah’s website.



About The Author

SSundin


Sarah Sundin is the author of "With Every Letter" and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A "Memory Between Us" was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.




My Review:

In Perfect Time is the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale Series, and I have enjoyed them all. The books are written in as if we are the eyes of three different women and seeing the same events, each one the same but not. Of course there are a lot of different things that happen, as we all have our own lives.
Oh how I loved this and all of the books, we relive WWII through the eyes of these people. We learn so many facts about the invasions, and what happened during this time, that we have either forgotten or didn’t know. These should be a must read for all Americans, the sacrifices made by these individuals that made our country free, if not for them we all might be speaking German?
This book deals with a couple that may never end up together; they have so many insecurities, each from their upbringing. Hard to believe how parents can treat one child so different that they threat their others, great examples here. One has accepted the Grace of God, and forgiveness, or has he. The other is struggling with God, and her upbringing, of being raised in hypocritical religious family.
The book wraps up everything, so sweetly, but always with a bid to drama, and uneasiness. I wish we could continue on in their lives, do they fulfill their dreams? Will these couples we have come to love, end up with the American dream? Or will they even make it out of this war alive? Come along and enjoy this wonderful historical read you won’t be disappointed.

I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Healing Quilt (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, #3) by Wanda E. Brunstetter


Join retired Amish newlyweds Emma and Lamar Miller in Florida for the winter as they lead another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students: Jennifer, a pregnant new mom; Mike, a charter boat owner; Erika, a wheelchair bound teen; Kim, a waitress; Noreen, a newly-retired widow, and BJ, an artist facing illness. When old friends visit from Indiana, will romance also become a subject of class discussions?


About The Author 




Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of over 60 books with more than 7 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine and USA Today. Wanda’s books have been translated into four foreign languages.
Wanda’s fascination with the Amish culture developed when she met her husband, Richard, who grew up in a Mennonite church, and whose family has a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Meeting her new Mennonite sister-in-laws caused Wanda to yearn for the simpler life. In their travels, she and her husband have become close friends with many Amish people across America. Wanda’s desire to explore their culture increased when she discovered that her great-great grandparents were part of the Anabaptist faith.

wanda and richard About
Wanda and her husband Richard

All of Wanda’s novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Many of her books are well-read and trusted by the Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. Wanda’s primary attraction to the Amish is their desire to live a devout Christian life that strives to honor God, work hard, and maintain close family ties. Whenever she visits her Amish friends, Wanda finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties, which is in stark contrast to the chaos and busyness that plagues so many modern “Englishers.” Time and time again, Wanda loses her heart in the Amish life, and she hopes her readers will, too.



 My Review:



 What a great read about how an Amish couple touches so many lives, and how the rebound of this love is passed on. Emma and Lamar have taught quilt classes before in their hometown of Shipshewana Indiana, and decide to do the same while in Pinecraft Florida.
You can see God’s hand in this idea, and don’t know if Emma and Lamar realized how much they were going to change a number of lives. Your heart will break for some of them, and rejoice for others. In the end, all of the class participates lives do change, not always how we are hoping, but in the way God planned.
We get to enjoy the beautiful setting of this book, through the eyes of each of the characters. Dangle your feet in surf, enjoy hunting for shark teeth, and just enjoy watching the surf. You never see how interconnected with others we are, and marvel how you are at the right place at the right time to do what God wants, in his perfect timing.
I would love to take a quilt class from this delightful couple, how fun it would be, and not only learn how to quilt, but enjoy the scrumptious treats that are offered. Also, loved the fact that we are updated on all at the end of the book, and can put some closure in their lives, and wish we could join with them more.

I received this book from the Publisher Barbour Publishing Inc., and was not required to give a positive review.



Pump Up Your Book Presents Double Blind Virtual Book Publicity Tour

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Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Tiffany Pitts‘ Double Blind virtual book tour August 4-29!



Double Blind 7



Title: Double Blind
Author: Tiffany Pitts
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Pages: 280
Genre: Action/Adventure/Humor/Sci-fi
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Delilah Pelham’s brother, Paul, is missing. She should probably be worried about that but honestly, he’s been in trouble since the day he learned the words “trust me.” In fact, if it weren’t for his roommate, Carl, she would gladly leave him to his fate.
Carl is a good guy, even if he’s a bit of a dork. Okay, a large slice of a dork. Possibly the entire cake.
But he wants to help, as do his gamer friends, which is how Deli finds herself in the middle of Hong Kong with the King of the Dorks, running from creepy guys with slicked-back hair and shiny black guns.
Back at home, Carl’s friends aren’t faring nearly as well. All they had to do was monitor the situation and feed Deli’s cat while she was gone. How could that possibly end in bloodshed?
There is an answer, of course, but no one ever thinks to ask the cat.

For More Information


PUYB Meet the Author


Tiffany Pitts 2Tiffany Pitts grew up in the Seattle area in a time when the Super Sonics were huge and Starbucks was just a store at the end of the Market. Tragedy struck early in her life as her family moved to New Jersey mere months before Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album hit record stores. It took nearly a decade to wean herself off the hairspray. But Seattle called her back, so she went; eventually earning a degree in Botany (pronounced “Bar tending”) at the University of Washington.
She made one more valiant attempt to leave the PNW after college by travelling around the country doing not much of value and making very stupid decisions. She is thankful every day that the internet was not a huge deal in those years. Then Seattle called again so she picked up and moved home where she spent many years being a scientist of middling talent in several labs that she absolutely did not blow up—except for that one time and everyone agreed not to talk about that any more.
Now she divides her time between writing fiction and raising two kids who are wonderful but, for some reason, will not stop licking things.
Her latest book is the action/adventure/humorous/sci-fi, Double Blind.


For More Information

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours Presents: In The Mirror by Kaira Rouda


Title: In the Mirror
Author: Kaira Rouda
Publisher: Real You Publishing Group
Pages: 214
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

What choices would you make if you knew you might die soon?

From the multi award-winning, best-selling author of four books, including Here, Home, Hope, a gripping and heart wrenching novel about a young mother who has it all. The only problem is she may be dying.

In her previous works including All the Difference, Rouda's characters "sparkle with humor and heart," and the stories are "told with honest insight and humor" (Booklist). "Inspirational and engaging" (ForeWord), these are the novels you'll turn to for strong female characters and an "engaging read" (Kirkus).

In the Mirror is the story of Jennifer Benson, a woman who seems to have it all. Diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her disease the same way she tackled her life - head on. But while she's busy fighting for a cure, running her business, planning a party, staying connected with her kids, and trying to keep her sanity, she ignores her own intuition and warnings from others and reignites an old relationship best left behind.

If you knew you might die, what choices would you make? How would it affect your marriage? How would you live each day? And how would you say no to the one who got away?

For More Information


My Book Review:

Jennifer is a wife, a mother, a daughter & sister, friend and business woman. She's also a cancer patient.

Not having been diagnosed until a few weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Jennifer has now been fighting for her life the past 15 months. In a treatment facility with her best friend, another cancer patient named Ralph, Jennifer finds herself succumbing to loneliness.

Her husband is raising their two young children while working a full time job and the romance is disintegrating before Jennifer's very eyes. When an ex waltzes back into her life Jennifer has to realize who she is now and what is really important. 

In the Mirror will have you questioning your life: what do you want to do before you die? Who means what to you? What do you do when you know time is limited? 

Kaira Rouda's writing makes you sit back and reflect on your life and realize just how precious and fragile it is. Life is a gift that we seem to take for granted sometimes and Rouda's writing shows us just that.

The best books are the ones that make you think, make you reflect and make you cry. As I finished the last page, I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face thinking of how blessed my life is.

In the Mirror teaches us not to take those around us for granted, to say "Thank you" and "I love you", and to go for our dreams even if they seem out of reach. I wish Ralph would have been able to see grapes turned into wine, explore all the wineries he wanted, but I am glad he had one more wonderful date with his wife. 

The characters in this story teach us so much about ourselves. Ralph and Jennifer's lives touch ours. Jennifer taught me to be grateful to the ones I have in my life while Ralph taught me it's never too late to go after your dreams and to make each day and every moment count. Although I've only mentioned Jennifer and Ralph, so many others characters bring this book to life. Jennifer's amazing husband Henry, their beautiful children Hank and Hannah, Jennifer's wonderful friends and family. Jennifer's ex was a jerk and yet his role was important to help Jennifer realize how blessed she is even though she is sick.

I absolutely loved In the Mirror and I can quite honestly say I have never read anything quite like it. This book touched me and will stay with me long after I read the ending.

The ending was the only thing that had me saying "WHAT!" I wish I would've known what happened next but I am building my own scenarios in my head.

Thank you Kaira Rouda for this book. In the Mirror deserves more than 5 stars! 

Book Excerpt & Trailer:
Rolling over to get out of bed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and cringed. My reflection said it all. Everything had changed.
I looked like death.
I blinked, moving my gaze from the mirror, and noticed the calendar. It was Monday again. That meant everything in the real world. It meant groaning about the morning and getting the kids off to school. It meant struggling to get to the office on time and then forcing yourself to move through the day. It meant the start of something new and fresh and undetermined. But Mondays meant nothing at Shady Valley. We lived in the “pause” world, between “play” and “stop.” Suspension was the toughest part for me. And loneliness. Sure, I had visitors, but it wasn’t the same as being surrounded by people in motion. I’d been on fast-forward in the real world, juggling two kids and my business, struggling to stay connected to my husband, my friends. At Shady Valley, with beige-colored day after cottage-cheese-tasting day, my pace was, well –
I had to get moving.
I supposed my longing for activity was behind my rather childish wish to throw a party for myself. At least it gave me a mission of sorts. A delineation of time beyond what the latest in a long line of cancer treatments dictated. It had been more than 18 months of treatments, doctor’s appointments, hospitalizations and the like. I embraced the solidity of a deadline. The finality of putting a date on the calendar and knowing that at least this, my party, was something I could control.
I noticed the veins standing tall and blue and bubbly atop my pale, bony hands. I felt a swell of gratitude for the snakelike signs of life, the entry points for experimental treatments; without them, I’d be worse than on pause by now.
I pulled my favorite blue sweatshirt over my head and tugged on my matching blue sweatpants.
Moving at last, I brushed my teeth and then headed next door to Ralph’s. He was my best friend at Shady Valley—a special all-suite, last-ditch-effort experimental facility for the sick and dying—or at least he had been until I began planning my party. I was on his last nerve with this, but he’d welcome the company, if not the topic. He was paused too.
 My thick cotton socks helped me shuffle across my fake wood floor, but it was slow going once I reached the grassy knoll—the leaf-green carpet that had overgrown the hallway. An institutional attempt at Eden, I supposed. On our good days, Ralph and I sometimes sneaked my son’s plastic bowling set out there to partake in vicious matches. We had both been highly competitive, type-A people in the “real” world and the suspended reality of hushed voices and tiptoeing relatives was unbearable at times.
“I’ve narrowed it down to three choices,” I said, reaching Ralph’s open door. “’Please come celebrate my life on the eve of my death. RSVP immediately. I’m running out of time.’”
“Oh, honestly,” Ralph said, rolling his head back onto the pillows propping him up. I knew my time in Shady Valley was only bearable because of this man, his humanizing presence. Even though we both looked like shadows of our outside, real-world selves, we carried on a relationship as if we were healthy, alive. I ignored the surgery scars on his bald, now misshapen head. He constantly told me I was beautiful. It worked for us.  
“Too morbid? How about: ‘Only two months left. Come see the incredible, shrinking woman. Learn diet secrets of the doomed,’” I said, smiling then, hoping he’d join in.
“Jennifer, give it a rest would you?” Ralph said.
“You don’t have to be so testy. Do you want me to leave?” I asked, ready to retreat back to my room.
“No, come in. Let’s just talk about something else, OK, beautiful?”
Ralph was lonely, too. Friends from his days as the city’s most promising young investment banker had turned their backs—they didn’t or couldn’t make time for his death. His wife, Barbara, and their three teenage kids were his only regular visitors. Some days, I felt closer to Ralph than to my own family, who seemed increasingly more absorbed in their own lives despite weekly flowers from Daddy and dutiful visits from Henry, my husband of six years. Poor Henry. It was hard to have meaningful visits at Shady Valley, with nurses and treatments and all manner of interruptions. We still held hands and kissed, but intimacy—even when I was feeling up to it—was impossible.
So, there we were, Ralph and I, two near-death invalids fighting for our lives and planning a party to celebrate that fact. It seemed perfectly reasonable, at least to me, because while I knew I should be living in the moment, the future seemed a little hazy without a party to focus on.
“Seriously, I need input on my party invitations. It’s got to be right before I hand it over to Mother. I value your judgment, Ralph; is that too much to ask?”
“For God’s sake, let me see them.” Ralph snatched the paper out of my hand. After a moment, he handed it back to me. “The last one’s the best. The others are too, well, self-pitying and stupid. Are you sure you can’t just have a funeral like the rest of us?”
I glared at him, but agreed, “That’s my favorite, too.”
Mr. & Mrs. E. David Wells
request your presence at a
celebration in honor of their daughter
Jennifer Wells Benson
Please see insert for your party time
Shady Valley Center
2700 Hocking Ridge Road
RSVP to Mrs. Juliana Duncan Wells
No gifts please—donations to breast cancer research appreciated.
#
 At first, I had been incredibly angry about the cancer. Hannah’s birth, so joyous, had marked the end of my life as a “normal” person. Apparently, it happened a lot. While a baby’s cells multiplied, the mom’s got into the act, mutating, turning on each other. Hannah was barely two weeks old when I became violently ill. My fever was 105 degrees when we arrived in the ER. I think the ER doctors suspected a retained placenta or even some sort of infectious disease, although I was so feverish I can’t remember much from that time. All I remember was the feeling of being cut off from my family—Henry, two-year-old Hank, and newborn Hannah—and marooned on the maternity ward, a place for mothers-to-be on bed rest until their due dates. That was hell.
At 33, I was a pathetic sight. My headache was so intense the curtains were drawn at all times. I didn’t look pregnant anymore, so all the nurses thought my baby had died. That first shift tip-toed around me, murmuring. By the second night, one of them posted a sign: “The baby is fine. Mother is sick.” It answered their questions since I couldn’t. It hurt my head too much to try.
By the third day, my headache had receded to a dull roar. Surgery revealed that there was no retained placenta after all. I was ready to go home to my newborn and my life. So with a slight fever and no answers, I escaped from the hospital and went home to a grateful Henry and a chaotic household. I was weak and tired, but everyone agreed that was to be expected. I thanked God for the millionth time for two healthy kids and my blessed, if busy, life.
And then, not two weeks later, I found the lump. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kaira Rouda is an award-winning and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs; Here, Home, Hope; All the Difference; In the Mirror; and the short story, A Mother's Day.  She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel.
Her latest novel is the women’s fiction, In the Mirror.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Presents: The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon Blog Tour

Teen Wytche Saga
 

 The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon Think magic will solve your problems? Bring you love? Cure you? Protect you? Help you find someone who is lost? Think again. Magic tests friendships. It hisses, chirps, stinks up the room, backfires, and explodes. Magic forces you to make tough decisions. Shatter limitations. Discover your true self. When you use magic, expect results in the ultimate triple-un—unpredictable, uncontrollable, and so undeniable. And you thought navigating high school was tough.










 

Praise for the Teen Wytche Saga

Spell Check Cover Ariella 
Spell Check
“Ms. Moon has crafted a spellbinding story. I was entranced within the first chapter,”
Tifferz, 5-star Amazon Review

“Spellcheck is a delightful teen romance about best friends, magic, and bad decisions.”
Romancewriter, 5-Star Amazon Review

A great read that kept me captive, I couldn’t stop reading! Ariella Moon has created a piece of art! I can’t wait for the next book!”
Jennifer Badgett, 5-Star Amazon Review

Excerpt From Spell Check, Book #1 The Teen Wytche Saga
About ten minutes into class, while Mr. Esenberg wrote on the board, I heard Jordan slide his feet under my desk. My breath wedged in my throat as the tips of his size nine high-performance sneakers nudged the heels of my shoes. Could the girl in front of me hear my heart thudding? Should I move my feet forward?
My feet tingled and refused to move. A blush blazed across my cheeks. I struggled to pay attention to Mr. Esenberg without making eye contact. Forty minutes passed, the bell blared, and I had no idea what had transpired. Hopefully, my notes will make sense. I think I took notes.
Jordan slid his feet back and thudded his book closed. We both bent down and reached for our backpacks. His leaned against mine. Our hands brushed and our heads were so close I could smell his herbal shampoo.
Students walked past us. I’m sure some of them were talking to each other or flipping open their cell phones. But it all faded away along with the smell of chalk, highlighters, and sweat. Everything receded except the warmth of Jordan’s skin, his cinnamon gum-scented breath, and the heart-stopping rush sprinting up my arm.
“Evie?”
We jerked apart. Seeing Parvani in the doorway looking hurt and shocked snapped my senses into hyper focus. Conversations sounded extra loud. Colors seemed too bright. It felt like a movie had started, full blast, in a hushed theater.



Spell Struck Cover 
Spell Struck
“A fantastic YA paranormal read, reminiscent of the film “Practical Magic”! Spell Struck combines quirky but fun teen characters dealing with new schools, romance, and family problems, with magic, and more serious topics like suicide and kidnapping.”
Sarah E. Bradley, InD’Tale Magazine
5 Stars, Crowned Heart for Excellence

“The Teen Wytche Saga is a gripping series of books that combine otherworldly magick with the everyday struggles of growing up a teenager in America… Unexpected plot twists at every turn of the page grab you and hold on from start to finish.”
Karyn Pickles, 5 Star Amazon Review

“I loved Spell Struck even more than I loved Spell Check!”
Freddie, 5-Star Amazon Review

Spell Fire Cover 
Spell Fire

This book looked fun and magical from the start … I really want to go back and get the first and second book now and read the series from the beginning. Ariella has made me fall in love with the characters in the middle of the story. I also can not wait for the fourth installment.”
Becca Wilson, 5-Star Amazon Review

“Great cast of characters, diverse protagonist, fast-paced action and romance, and a touch of different types of regional magic all tied into a fantastic read. I would highly recommend these to any woman (no matter the age) looking for an uplifting paranormal romance!”
                                                                       
Freddie, 5-Star Amazon Review

I loved it!!! Absolutely loved it!!!
“Overall a great book and an awesome series… I would definitely recommend this book to all the fantasy and YA lovers and hope that you guys will love it as I did.”
CUTEsatarupa, 5-Star Amazon Review

ariellaAuthor Ariella Moon
Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

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teen wytche saga tour
Tour Schedule
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/7/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.