Monday, November 24, 2014

Waking Up Joy



Behind every lost dream lies a second chance…
When adored town spinster Joy Talley ends up in a coma after a peculiar accident, she is surprised and incensed to hear what is being said in her hospital room, including plans for her funeral. When she finally wakes, her well-meaning, but bossy, brothers and sisters dismiss her claims, thinking her accident has knocked her off her rocker, but Joy has never felt better, and is determined to set the past right.
Now Joy must face her darkest secret and risk reopening wounds caused by an old flame who rejected her more than twenty years ago. But taking risks brings change, as well as a new, younger man into Joy’s life, making her feel like a teenager again. Suddenly Joy’s once humdrum life is anything but boring and routine and the future beckons, exhilarating and bright.




My Review

I had stepped away from reading romance or contemporary stories for a bit. Yet, this book sounded good so I took a chance. So glad I did. I not only had a pleasurable time reading this book but I also found and discovered a new author. Not going to be new to be any longer as I will be checking out more books by Mrs. Forkner.

Everyone in this story was fun and eccentric. Which made them entertaining. Although I do have to say that my favorites were Joy and Ruthie. They came from two different spectrums of the age gap but the way the story was written, it was like they had role reversals with Joy awaking and being young again ad Ruthie imparting words of wisdom through her diary and Joy's mother. Of course, then there was all of the rest of the Talleys. They were a dysfunctional family but in a good way. They came together when it really counted. The ending was a happy one.


About Tina:
Tina Ann Forkner writes women’s fiction. She is the author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House (Random House), as well as a forthcoming novel Waking Up Joy (Tule)
When not writing, Tina is a substitute teacher who loves sharing her appreciation of reading and writing with children and teens. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and hiking in the great outdoors, is (still) learning to knit scarves, trying to cut back on caffeine, and not much makes her happier than an extra-large mocha.

Before making her way to Wyoming, Tina grew up in small-town Oklahoma, moved for a time to England, and eventually to Sacramento where she graduated with honors in English from Sac State. She makes her home in Cheyenne with her husband, three teens, and two spoiled dogs.
Tina has a passion for libraries and served on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board of Directors in Wyoming for six years holding various offices including Foundation President. She volunteers with her church’s youth group and likes to be involved in various volunteer roles when she isn’t on a deadline.

Tina’s articles and essays have appeared in various publications, including Homecoming Magazine and around the blogosphere. She is also a poet at heart, having had poems published in small press literary journals, including the Sacramento Poetry Center’s journal, Poetry Now, under the pen name Tina Linde, and has had columns appear in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle under the same pen name.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Job

He’s a charming con man and she’s a dedicated FBI agent, and they’re about to drive each other crazy . . . again! The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicolas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick Fox has a few tricks up his sleeve to roust this particular Knipschildt chocolate–loving drug lord. From the streets of Nashville to the back alleys of Lisbon, from the rooftops of Istanbul to the middle of the Thames, Nick and Kate chase their mark. When they find themselves pitted against a psychopathic bodyguard and a Portuguese enforcer who gets advice from a pickled head, they decide it’s time to enlist some special talent—talent like a machete-wielding Somali pirate, a self-absorbed actor, an Oscar-winning special effects artist, and Kate’s father Jake, a retired Special Forces operative. Together they could help make this Fox and O’Hare’s biggest win yet . . . if they survive. My Review I have read other books by Janet but this is my first Fox and O'Hare novel. After finishing this book I will have to go back and check out books one and two in this series. I really loved the witty banter between Kate and Nick. They make a good duo. Nick is a man of many faces and surprises. This is why I liked him. I never knew what he would do next. Kate could stand up to Nick and dish out just as much as he gave her. So they are equally matched. They kind of reminded me of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in the movie, The Tourist. Kate and Nick because they worked so well together as the story progressed they seemed to pick up speed. Each one trying to catch the other one and maybe up each other too. However Nick had the upper hand. All the different names that he came up with were funny. Another thing that I liked about this book is that you can not tell where one author stopped and the other one picked up. The heists were fine but how Kate and Nick solved it was the entertaining part. I almost hope that they never hook up because the cat and mouse game these two play scores big.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Genome

"The Genome" is a new science fiction thriller by the author of the bestselling Night Watch series.In the far-future world of Alexander Romanov, humankind is divided into "naturals" and "speshes"--those who have been genetically modified to serve a specific purpose. Alex is a master pilot capable of maneuvering the dangerous realm of space by communicating directly with his ship. He is about to take on the most mysterious and challenging mission of his life when he happens upon Kim, a teenage girl with a desperate secret. Out of a sense of friendship, he agrees to help her, but this decision will end in conflict and tragedy for dozens of worlds. My Review I have never heard or read anything by this author. I just thought this book sounded good. After reading this book I do want to go back and check out Night and Day Watch. Also after reading this book I realized that I need to read more sci-fi books. I have been lucky thus far and every single one that I have picked up I have really enjoyed. I have been fascinated by science and space. I used to watch X-Files and I am a Trekkie fan. That is lingo for Star Trek for thoses who are not familiar. Anyways back to the book. The world that the author built was cool. Although I have to say that I did grow tried quickly of everyone calling each other spesh. I got it. There are humans and there are spesh and then there are others not of this world. Yet, I did not feel like everyone needed to use spesh when addressing someone by their name. For half of the book it was talking and the mission went smoothly. In other words not a lot of action. Yet again what it lacked in action it made up for in the storytelling...world and interesting characters.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Interview with Elizabeth Haydon +Giveaway



 




Interview with Elizabeth Haydon,

documentarian, archanologist and translator of Ven’s

journals, including The Tree of Water
 

 




Little is known for sure about reclusive documentarian and archanologist Elizabeth Haydon.





She is an expert in dead languages and holds advanced degrees in Nain Studies from Arcana College and Lirin History from the University of Rigamarole. Her fluency in those languages [Nain and Lirin] has led some to speculate that she may be descended of one of those races herself. It should be noted that no one knows this for sure.




Being an archanologist, she is also an expert in ancient magic because, well, that’s what an archanologist is.




Being a documentarian means she works with old maps, books and manuscripts, and so it is believed that her house is very dusty and smells like ink, but there is no actual proof of this suspicion. On the rare occasions of sightings of Ms. Haydon, it has been reported that she herself has smelled like lemonade, soap, vinegar, freshly-washed babies and pine cones.




She is currently translating and compiling the fifth of the recently-discovered Lost Journals when she is not napping, or attempting to break the world’s record for the longest braid of dental floss.




We had the chance to ask her some questions about the latest of Ven’s journals, The Tree of Water. Here is what she shared.

 
Dr. Haydon, can you give us a brief summary of The Tree of Water?
Certainly. Ven Polypheme, who wrote the, er, Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, lived long ago in the Second Age of history, when magic was much more alive and visible in the world than it is now. His journals are very important finds, because they tell the story of ancient magic and where it still may be found in the world today.
In the first three journals we saw how Ven came to the mystical island of Serendair and was given the job of Royal Reporter by the king of the island, a young man named Vandemere. The Royal Reporter was supposed to find magic that was hiding in plain sight in the world and report back about it to the king. As you can imagine, this could be a fun but dangerous job, and at the beginning of The Tree of Water, we see that Ven and his friends are hiding from the evil Thief Queen, who is looking to find and kill him.
Amariel, a merrow [humans call these ‘mermaids,’ but we know that’s the wrong word] who saved Ven when the first ship he sailed on sank, has been asking Ven to come and explore the wonders of the Deep, her world in the sea. Deciding that this could be a great way to find hidden magic as well as hide from the evil Thief Queen, Ven and his best friend, Char, follow her into the Deep. The sea, as you know, is one of the most magical places in the world—but sometimes that magic, and that place, can be deadly.
The book tells of mysterious places, and interesting creatures, and wondrous things that have never been seen in the dry world, and tales from the very bottom of the sea.
The main character in The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme series is Charles Magnus "Ven" Polypheme. Tell us about him.
Ven was an interesting person, but he really didn’t think so. He and his family were of a different race than the humans who made up most of the population where he lived, the race of the Nain. Nain are an old race, a little shorter and stockier than most humans, with a tendency to be on the grumpy side. They live about four times as long as humans, are very proud of their beards, which they believe tell their life stories, don’t like to swim or travel, and prefer to live deep in the mountains.
Ven was nothing like the majority of Nain. He was very curious, loved to travel, could swim, and longed to see the world. He was actually a pretty nice kid most of the time. He had the equivalent of a baby face because only three whiskers of his beard had grown in by the time The Tree of Water took place, when he was fifty years old [around twelve in Nain years]. He had a great group of friends, including the merrow and Char, who were mentioned earlier. It is believed that his journals were the original research documents for two of the most important books of all time, The Book of All Human Knowledge and All the World’s Magic. The only copies of these two volumes were lost at sea centuries ago, so finding the Lost Journals is the only way to recover this important information.
What kind of research do you do for the series?
I go to places where Ven went and try to find relics he left behind. Usually this is with an expedition of archaeologists and historians. I am an expert in ancient magic [an archanologist] so I don’t usually lead the expeditions, I’m just a consultant. It gives me the chance to learn a lot about magic and lets me work on my suntan at the same time, so it’s good.
What is/are the most difficult part or parts of writing/restoring the Lost Journals?
Here’s the list, mostly from the archaeological digs where the journals have been found:
1] Cannibals
2] Crocodiles
3] Sunburn
4] Sand flies
5] Dry, easily cracking parchment pages
6] The horrible smell of long-dead seaweed
7] Grumpy members of the archaeological expedition [I could name names, but I won’t]
8] Expedition food [when finding and retrieving the journal for The Tree of Water, we ate nothing but peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, olives and yellow tea for six months straight]
9] When salt water gets into your favorite fountain pen and clogs it up. This is very sad.
10] Unintentionally misspelling a word in the Nain language that turns out to be embarrassing [the word for "jelly" is one letter different from the word for "diarrhea," which caused a number of my Nain friends to ask me what on earth I thought Ven was spreading on his toast.]
What do you enjoy about this series that cannot be found in any of your other books?
Getting to write about a lot of cool magic stuff that used to exist in our world, but doesn’t anymore. And getting to travel to interesting places in the world to see if maybe some of it still does exist. Also getting to show the difference between merrows, which are real, interesting creatures, and mermaids, which are just silly.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope, in general, that it will open their eyes to the wonder of the sea, which takes up the majority of our planet, but we really don’t know that much about it down deep. There is a great deal of magic in the sea, and I hope that if and when people become aware of it, they will help take care of it and not throw garbage and other bad stuff into it. I have a serious dislike for garbage-throwing.
Probably the most useful secret I learned that I hope will be of use to readers is about thrum. Thrum is the way the creatures and plants that live in the ocean communicate with each other through vibration and thought. As Ven and his friends learn, this can be a problem if you think about something you don’t want anyone to know about when you are standing in a sunshadow, because everyone gets to see a picture of what’s on your mind. Imagine how embarrassing that could be.
Are there more books coming in this series?
Well, at least one. In the archaeological dig site where The Tree of Water was found was another journal, a notebook that Ven called The Star of the Sea. We are still working on restoring it, but it looks like there are many new adventures and different kinds of magic in it. The problem is that it might have been buried in the sand with an ancient bottle of magical sun tan lotion, which seems to have leaked onto some of the journal’s pages. This is a very sad event in archaeology, but we are working hard to restore it.
As for other books, it’s not like we just write them out of nowhere. If we haven’t found one of Ven’s journals, there can’t be another book, now, can there? We are always looking, however. We’ve learned so much about ancient magic from the journals we have found so far.
You are a best-selling author with other books and series for adults. What made you want to write books for young readers?
I like young readers better than adults. Everyone who is reading a book like mine has at one time or another been a young reader, but not everyone has been an adult yet. Young readers have more imagination and their brains are more flexible—they can understand magical concepts a lot better than a lot of adults, who have to deal with car payments and work and budget balancing and all sorts of non-magical things in the course of their days.
Besides, many adults scare me. But that’s not their fault. I’m just weird like that.
I think if more adults read like young readers, the world would be a happier place.
Tell us where we can find your book and more information about where you are these days.
You can find The Tree of Water anywhere books are sold, online and in bookstores. There are several copies in my steamer trunk and I believe the palace in Serendair also has one. I also sent one to Bruno Mars because I like his name.
At the moment, I am on the beautiful island of J’ha-ha, searching for a very unique and magical flower. Thank you for asking these interview questions—it has improved my mood, since I have only found weeds so far today. I am hoping for better luck after lunch, which, sadly, is peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, olives, and yellow tea again.




All the best,

Dr. Elizabeth Haydon, PhD, D’Arc
#TheTreeofWaterTour

THE TREE OF WATER
Elizabeth Haydon
Starscape, 2014
 
1
To Go, or Not to Go
The human boys had an expression back in the faraway city of Vaarn where I was born. It went like this:
Curiosity killed the cat
Satisfaction brought him back
I am a curious person. I was just as curious back in my early days in Vaarn as I am now, perhaps even more so, because my curiosity had not yet been given a chance to be satisfied.
The first time I heard this expression, I was very excited. I thought it meant that my curiosity could make me feel like I was dying, but it would let up if I discovered the answer to whatever was making me curious.
I told my mother about the rhyme. She was not impressed. In fact, she looked at me as if I had just set my own hair on fire on purpose. She patted my chin, which was woefully free of any sign of the beard that should have been growing there.
"That’s very nice," she said, returning to her chores. "But just in case nobody told you, you are not a cat, Ven. Unlike you, cats have whiskers."
My pride stung for days afterward.
But it didn’t stop my curiosity from growing as fast as my beard should have been.
My name is Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme, Ven for short. Unlike the human boys in Vaarn, I am of the race of the Nain. Nain are somewhat shorter than humans, and grumpier. They live almost four times as long as humans, and tend to be much less curious, and much less adventurous. They hate to travel, don’t swim, and generally do not like other people. Especially those who are not Nain.
I clearly am not a good example of my race.
First, I am very tall for a Nain, sixty-eight Knuckles high when I was last measured on the morning of my fiftieth birthday. I’ve already mentioned my uncontrollable curiosity, which brings along with it a desire for adventure. I have been blessed, or cursed, with quite a lot of that recently.
But as for the curiosity, while I’ve had a lot of satisfaction for the questions it has asked me, it doesn’t seem to matter. As soon as one burning question is answered, another one springs to mind immediately. As a result, I am frequently in trouble.
So now I am about to lay my head on a chopping block, on purpose, and a man with a very sharp knife is standing over me, ready to make slashes in my neck.
I’m wondering if in fact instead of being a live Nain, I am about to end up as a dead, formerly curious cat.
Because now I have three whiskers of my own.
Ven Polypheme had two sets of eyes staring at him.
One set was black as coal. The other was green as the sea.
Neither of them looked happy.
The green eyes were floating, along with a nose, forehead, and hair on which a red cap embroidered with pearls sat, just above the surface of the water beneath the old abandoned dock. The brows above the eyes were drawn together. They looked annoyed.
The black ones were in the middle of the face of his best friend, Char, who stood beside him on the dock. They looked anxious.
In the distance a bell began to toll. Ven looked to his left at the docks of the fishing village to the south of them, where work had begun hours ago. Then he looked behind him. The sleepy town of Kingston in the distance was just beginning to wake up.
Ven looked back down into the water.
"Come on, Amariel," he said to the floating eyes. "I can’t really go off into the sea without him."
A glorious tail of colorful scales emerged from below the surface, splashing both boys with cold salt water.
"Why not?" a girl’s voice demanded from the waves. "He’s a pest. And he isn’t nice to me."
Char’s black eyes widened.
"I—I’m sorry ’bout that," he stammered. "When I first met you, Ven didn’t tell me you were a mermaid—" He shivered as another splash drenched him again. "Er, I mean merrow. I’m sorry if I made you mad."
"Hmmph."
"Please let him come," Ven said. "Captain Snodgrass gave him orders to keep an eye on me. So if I’m going to explore the sea with you, he kinda has to come along."
Char nodded. "Cap’n’s orders."
"He’s not my captain," said the merrow. "I don’t take orders from humans. You know better, Ven. My mother will fillet me if she finds out I’m traveling with a human male. Especially if we are going to go exploring. There are very clear rules about not showing humans around the wonders of the Deep. And besides, it’s dangerous. You have no idea how many sea creatures think humans are tasty. I don’t want to get chomped on by mistake."
Out of the corner of his eye, Ven watched Char’s face go white.
"We’ll be careful," he promised. "Char will be on his best behavior."
"I’ve seen his best behavior. I’m not impressed."
"Look," Char said. "If you get sick of me, you can always cover me with fish guts and toss me out as shark bait."
The merrow stared coldly at him.
"Oh, all right," she said finally. "But remember, there’s a reason they call bait for sharks chum. ‘Chum’ is another word for ‘friend.’" Her eyes stayed locked on Char. "And if you make a bunch of sharks angry, Chum—"
"I’ll be chum," Char said. "Got it."
"So if you’re coming, we have to find a fisherman named Asa with a red-bottomed boat." Amariel pointed south to one of the far docks. "He’ll cut your gills, and we can get going."
Both boys grabbed their necks.
The merrow rolled her eyes. "Oh, come on. Do you want to be able to breathe underwater or not? Gills are the only way I know of to do that. I’m tired of waiting. Decide whether you’re coming or whether I’m leaving."
"We’re coming," Ven said as he let go of his neck. "Sorry—it’s just instinct. Let’s go."
Char nodded, but did not remove his hands.
The merrow disappeared below the surface of the water.
The two boys hurried south over the packed sand along the shore.
"Ya know, it’s not too late to change your mind, Ven," Char muttered. "We could get a boat or somethin’, and follow her out to sea, like we did when we were chasing the Floatin’ Island, and then dive down to see whatever she wants to show us—"
"You can stay on shore if you want to, Char," Ven said, trying to see the merrow in between the waves. "But I promised her a long time ago that I would explore her world with her. It’s now or never."
"Have it your way," Char said gloomily. "You always do anyway."
They followed the pebbly path in the sand south until the fishing village came into sight. Several long piers led out into the harbor, with docks along each of them. Small boats lined the docks. At each boat fishermen were hauling nets filled with flapping fish and cages with crabs and lobsters onto the piers. Seagulls flew in great wide circles above, screeching and crying, then diving for food.
"So how did she happen to find this Asa, and how does she know he won’t just cut our throats?" Char asked as they picked their way among barrels and pieces of rope on the slats of the pier.
Ven shrugged. "No idea. But sailors and merrows have a pretty good connection." He pointed about halfway down the pier, where a small green fishing boat with a red bottom bobbed lazily in the morning tide. A wrinkled man in a wrinkled hat sat on a barrel at the edge of the dock, cleaning his morning catch of fish. "Could that be him?"
Char squinted. "I guess so."
"Come on. We may as well ask. If it’s not Asa, he probably knows where to find him. Fishermen all know each other."
The two boys walked along the pier, stepping out of the way of men dragging lobster traps and heavy netting, until they got to the red-bottomed boat. They stopped behind the elderly fisherman, who did not seem to notice they were there.
Ven coughed politely.
"Excuse me, sir—are you Asa?"
The fisherman looked up from his work, his sky-blue eyes twinkling in the sun.
"Who’s askin’?"
"Er, my name is Ven, sir. I was told I might find a fisherman at this dock who could, uh, cut gills."
The wrinkly man nodded. "Well, Ven, you’ve found ’im. But I can’t say as I’ve heard of any recent wrecks."
Ven blinked. "Pardon?"
"Shipwrecks," said the fisherman. "That’s the only reason I know of for a man to risk a slice in his neck—to salvage the treasure from the bones of a shipwreck."
"Oh." Ven and Char exchanged a glance, then looked off the edge of the dock.
In the water behind the boat, the beautiful tail of multicolored scales was waving at them from beneath the surface.
"Uh, we weren’t really planning to dive for treasure," Ven continued, trying to block the sight of the merrow’s tail. "We just want to do some exploring."
The fisherman’s eyebrows arched.
"The sea’s no place to explore without a good reason, lads," he said seriously. "Lots of bad stuff down there—believe you me. The only reason a man takes his life into his hands on a daily basis by going out there is to make a living for his family. Otherwise, we’d farm the land." The blue eyes twinkled. "If we knew how."
"Well, we’d really like to have gills, nonetheless," Ven said. "We’ve been told you know how to, er, cut them without too much pain—and safely. Is that true?"
Asa exhaled, then nodded.
"I suppose that depends on how much is too much where pain is concerned," he said. "That’s really up to you. It’s not my business what you’re doing. We mind our own business on the sea. If you want gills, and you’re willing to take the risk, I can cut ’em for you right quick." He held up a thin silver filleting knife. "Then I have to get back to cleaning my catch. So, what’ll it be? Make haste, now."
Char and Ven looked at each other once more, then nodded at the same time.
"We’re in," said Char.
"All right then," said Asa. He reached into the boat and took hold of the top of a small sea chest that held his tackle. He slammed it closed and put it on the dock in front of them. "Kneel down and put your heads on this chest, your left ears down."
The boys obeyed.
"Well, ’s been good to know you," Char whispered as they positioned their heads on the chest.
"Shhh," Ven whispered back. "We’re not being executed, for pity’s sake."
"You hope we’re not. You never know."
Asa wiped the filleting knife on his trousers, then came and stood over Ven.
"Hold very still, now."
Char winced and put his hand over his eyes.
Ven started to close his eyes as well.
Suddenly, from the end of the dock near town, a bright flash of rainbow-colored light blinded him.
And the world seemed to stop around him.
Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Haydon
Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Brandon Dorman


I have one copy to giveaway (US and Canada only)
Leave a comment with your email address. Winner chosen Nov 29th

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Botticelli's Bastard + Giveaway








Book Synopsis:

Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history—the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece. His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.

My Review

To be honest I briefly read the summary of this book and thought it sounded interesting. Then when it arrived and I re-read the back cover I had my doubts and was like "What did I commit myself into reading" So you could say I really had my mind made up. Well I am here to tell you that you really can not judge a book by it's cover. I fell right into the groove reading this book. It was only a matter of a few short hours and I was done with this book. The ease that the author wrote this book was great. Also, I liked that Giovanni was a normal guy who was kind of down and out on his life at the current moment. The talking portrait was a fun twist. The way that the portrait spoke of others who did not know art was very upper class but the author again was smart in the way that he presented the conversations that I was not turned off by the portrait. Then the mystery surrounding the portrait was intriguing and I like Gio had to learn the truth. The author actually made me interested in art reading this book. So if you are looking for something different to read and new you should check this book out.

Author's Bio:

Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He held senior positions in the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991. He owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also the Director of Marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a Board Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. A member of PEN and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival.

His novel Hero on Three Continents received numerous accolades, and Emeralds Never Fade won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction. His novel Ambition was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards and 2014 International Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Maitland-Lewis and his wife, Joni Berry, divide their time between their homes in Beverly Hills and New Orleans.
 

Connect with Stephen: Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter


I have 1 copy to giveaway. US. Leave a comment with email address. Winner chosen November 28th
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stillwater Rising

This is a powerful story. So with a powerful story you need strong, good characters. They need to be able to evoke emotions that make you want to love/hate, cry/laugh, cheer/scream with them. I may not have done all of this while reading this book but I sure did enjoy reading it. I liked the fact that this story focused on the after affects of the terrible incident with the three women. I have read other stories where it was focused on the students/victims or the before story leading up to the situation but not usually on the mothers. In the beginning, Jenn rubbed me the wrong way. I totally understood her feelings and why she was so mad and jaded but she came off really bitchy. Whereas, Charlotte I found to have a good balance of trying to be Mayor and at the same time a friend. Then there is Julia. She is the shooter's mother. I really felt sorry for her. Yes, I have read stories of school shooting but the stories are usually focused on the survivors and not the parents of the shoot. They also are victims. So what happens to them afterwards. I am sure the same thing that Julia went through in this story. With people egging her place, writing slur words on her house, among other things. The ending was a good one. I look forward to reading more books by this author.



 
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author - Steena is the author of the heart wrenching Finding Emma series and the upcoming novel Stillwater Rising.

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a Bachelors degree in Theology.

In 2012 she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes was inspired to write Finding Emma after experiencing a brief moment of horror when she’d thought her youngest daughter was missing.

She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.
~
Novels in her Finding Emma series:
Finding Emma
Dear Jack
Emma's Secret
Dottie's Memories

The Memory Child

Stillwater Bay Series:
Before the Storm
Stillwater Rising
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Frostfire



Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?





My Review

I have not read the other books in the Trylle Trilogy. I was introduced to this author by reading her Watersong trilogy. Which I just fell in love with. So coming into this book I knew nothing of the world or the characters that inhibited it. Luckily because this is book one in a new spin off from the Trylle series, this book was new and you did not have to read the prior ones to get it. I did like the author's take on "Trolls". She portrayed them as mysterious, human like people and not the ones I have known from the fairy tale stories of the tall, ugly, mean creatures.

I liked the world more then I did the characters in the story. However I still did like Bryn. She is a strong female heroine. She moved to the beat of her own drum. Not sure about the romance at this point but will have to see as the story progresses. My biggest complaint was that it did not seem like there was much powers that Kanin or Trolls had. Bryn talked about powers but I did not really see anything other than Bryn is a skilled tracker and can fight. Plus, there was not a lot of action in the beginning. Most of it was in the last third of the book.