Friday, September 30, 2011

September Monthly News

Welcome to the Labor Day/Back-to-School Edition of Monthly News! Even the hubby went back to school!  He is still locked out of work at U.S Steel Canada. So wish him well.
My step-dad passed away September 28. R.I.P. We love you. And special thanks to everyone for the messages of love and condolence.


BOOKS:  
1. Home Herbal (recommend)
2. Desperate Souls - Gregory Lamberson (recommend)
3. Remember Me - Christopher Pike (recommend)
4. Jack the Theorist - Jon Hartless (recommend)
5. Three Women - Emma Eden Ramos
6. India Black and the Widow of Windsor - Carol K. Carr (recommend)
7. Boyfriend from Hell - E. Van Lowe (recommend)
8. Wunderkind - Nikolai Grozni
9. Nine Dragons - Michael Connelly
10. Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King (HIGHLY recommend)
11. Don't Mess With Texas - Christie Craig (recommend)
12. Heartstrings and Diamond Rings - Jane Graves
13. Heiress - Susan May Warren (recommend)


PRODUCTS:
1. Back to School Sampler Back and Progress Book (recommend)
2. Designerliners Stylish Colorful Decorative Biodegradable Trash Bags (recommend)


YEARLY TOTAL: 138 Books, 1 Magazine, 2 Services, 20 Products, 1 Tv Show, 2 CDS and 1 Movie


FREDA'S FAVE FIVE (In No Particular Order):
1. Boyfriend from Hell
2. Desperate Souls
3. Remember Me
4. Dust of 100 Dogs
5. India Black and the Widow of Windsor


BOOK OF THE MONTH:


AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:
1. With Ann Atkins
2. With Joseph Rinaldo
3. With Marie Harbon
4. With John Podgursky


SPONSORED POSTS:
1. Blitz: The Last Rising - Rachel Firasek
2. Top 10 Finalists are Announced and Voting Opens in Final Round of the Avon Voices Global Singing Talent Search
3. Quick & Easy Recipes for Busy Moms

MY GUEST POSTS:
1. At VVB32 Reads Zombie event
2. At VVB32 Reads Pirate event


AUTHOR GUEST POSTS:
1. With Jon Hartless
2. Spirit Seeker Author Jamie Haden Visits


CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
1. Mystery & Suspense Challenge


AWARDS:

I received the Liebster Blog Award from Lizzie at Bttrfliesz Are Free. Thanks for the wonderful award! I appreciate it, and you, greatly!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#138 : Heiress - Susan May Warren (With Giveaway)

They can buy anything they want—fame, power, beauty, even loyalty.
But they can’t buy love.
The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it—will she discover she’s left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress?
Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love.

Read an Excerpt HERE

Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: Ellie Claire
ISBN: 9781609362188
Purchase at Amazon

©2011


Author Bio:
Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.
Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com.


My Opinion:
Fantastic story!
I really enjoyed both sisters, and though I felt sorry for Esme, I really connected with Jinx. I found her to be a very well-rounded character and a strong female lead.
I loved the mystery that was in the mix too. The ending wasn't the outcome I expected and for that I am glad. I found myself extremely happy with how it came together. I love a good scandal!
Can't wait to read the sequel, Baroness.


4.5/5


Recommend?
Definitely!


~I received a copy from LitFuse. I was not compensated for my opinion.~



AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY... Comments on this post do not count.


Susan May Warren is thrilled to announce the release of her latest historical book, Heiress!



Find out what the reviewers are saying here!



Heiress, a richly complex historical romance, is the first in Susan's three book Daughters of Fortune series. In honor of Heiress’ debut, Susan is hosting a FABULOUS Gilded Age Giveaway and giving away an opulent prize pack fit for an heiress!







One grand prize winner will receive:





  • A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
  • A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
  • A beautiful strand of Pearls
  • Titanic DVD
  • Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
  • Heiress by Susan May Warren


Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11. The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.





Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

#136 : Don't Mess With Texas - Christie Craig & #137 : Heartstrings and Diamond Rings - Jane Graves





Nikki Hunt thought her night couldn't get worse when her no-good, cheating ex ditched her at dinner, sticking her with the bill. Then she found his body stuffed in the trunk of her car and lost her two-hundred-dollar meal all over his three-thousand-dollar suit. Now not only is Nikki nearly broke, she's a murder suspect

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 9780446582841
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link in the photo.

©2011


My Opinion:
This was a fun read!
I was expecting it to be heavy on the romance, which it was pretty steamy, but it was heavy on the mystery. I loved that this story had me wondering at every page turn, who did it and why, not so much as to whether people would hook up.
I am glad they hooked up though. These characters were made for each other. I mean both sets.
A definite recommendation to mystery-romance lovers from me!


5/5


Recommend? DEFINITELY!



HE'S THE MAN OF HER DREAMS . . . In a world full of frogs, Alison Carter is determined to find her prince. Maybe her dating past is more Titanic than Love Boat, but she's seen enough happy marriages to know that true love is possible. No matter what, she won't give up on happily-ever-after. If she can't find Mr. Right, she'll simply hire someone who can.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Forever (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446568481
ISBN-13: 978-0446568487
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link in the photo.

©2011


My Opinion:
I really liked the story, but have to admit, the predictability factor in this one is 100%. I knew right from the moment Brandon got onto the page what would happen, though with that said, it was still nice to see the tale unfold.
Really good contemporary romance!


4/5


Recommend? Yes, for an afternoon delight.


~I received copies from Hachette Book Group. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!


Out of the corner of his eye David saw a flash of movement as he struggled to come to terms with the fact that the scream hadn't come from the vampire. Despite his best efforts the stake had struck bone and he frantically tried to push through it as he half turned.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Get to Know Author John Podgursky

Hello readers!
Today we have author John Podgursky joining us for a question session. Please give him a warm welcome and be sure to check out his book, The One Percenters.


1. Please tell readers about your current book.
The One Percenters is a psychological thriller about a man (Edward) who believes that modern medicine and distorted economics have skewed survival odds within society. Survival of the fittest has become defunct, with the weak and weak-minded able to pass on their genes, provided they are suitably funded. Edward is predestined to become a one percenter, an agent of nature given the job of eliminating the weaker persons from society. He learns that his task requires the discipline to discern between the people he wishes would die and those who should. The One Percenters is reflective in nature, and challenges the social and religious differences among all of us. It's available in paperback at amazon, or as an e-book here: www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615720132


2. Who or what inspires your writing?
I studied anthropology in college, concentrating on evolution. I'm always considering what makes humans tick, especially our base qualities, and what defines sanity and intelligence. I've had a lot of lonely nights in new cities that provided me the separation from society that I need to write.


3. When did you know you would be a writer?
I placed fifth among hundreds in a poetry contest in 4th grade. As far as I recall, I've always loved to write.


4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I wrote the initial draft in three weeks.


5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Tying up the loose ends is a real annoyance. Sometimes the plot, as you really want it to evolve, is just not plausible, so you have to make allowances.


6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I like to write by candlelight, sometimes with classical music playing. I need to establish an eerie environment; I can't write in a cafe.


7. Have you written anything else?
I've had a few short stories published, and I'm now toying with a second novel.


8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
I don't feel like I'm at a level yet to be handing out advice.


9. Who are your favorite Authors?
Obviously, King. Surprisingly though, Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes. His ability to inject profundity into the comic strip medium simply amazes me. I also enjoy Jeffrey Archer's short stories.


10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Night Shift-- which I'm always reading, forever. Also The Giving Tree. It expresses most of what you need to know in life.


11. What are you currently reading?
I just finished up another Archer-- And Thereby Hangs a Tale.


12. How do readers find out more about you?
I always welcome questions: flyinthewater@gmail.com. Concerning what I'm most often asked: I've lived in NC, VA, NY, RI, FL, CO, CA, and OR. City, mountains, small towns, you name it. I get bored easily now. There are so many delicious viewpoints out there. I want to see all places, meet all people. I want to travel the world and write. It's frustrating having such wanderlust and passion for life and being tied down due to finances. I think I need to buy a motorcycle and go with one bag... to either see it all or die lonely and penniless trying.


Natural selection has become unnatural. Having dealt with the vicious murder of his wife, Edward Caine takes his rightful place as a One-Percenter, eliminating those not fit for the human race. He must fight his instinct to use his role for revenge; he is after those who live on only because of money and medicine. The weak-gened are not fit to breed, and it's the job of Edward and his brethren to see that they don't. But can he finish the job before his own mind betrays him? He is an agent of the Earth. He is a One-Percenter.

Paperback: 166 pages
Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC
ISBN: 9781615720125
Purchase at Amazon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get to Know Author Marie Harbon (With Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to author Marie Harbon. She has been cool enough to stop by with a few words, and offered up a book at the end to one of you lucky readers!
Thanks for that, Marie!


1. Please tell readers about your current book.

It’s the first in a five part journey about life, the universe and everything! Drawing together the genres of science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal, we travel together from the 1940s, through the 50s and 60s to modern day, following the lives of five principal characters. Sprawling locations, different character perspectives, electromagnetic fields, measuring the soul, psychic powers and their explanation plus consciousness projection into other worlds all immersed in, as one blogger summed it up, a sci-fi soap opera… that may remind you at various times of Sliders, Avatar, Flatliners, X-Men and Star Trek… all wrapped up in a research saga’! There’s geeky science in there twinned with spirituality, seeking to ask the age old questions – Is there a God? What is the purpose of the universe? It’s a very ambitious project!


2. Who or what inspires your writing?
I think there have been many influences throughout my childhood and as I moved through adulthood. Initially, I always loved The Narnia Chronicles and had a geeky passion for Star Wars, covering both the fantasy and science fiction genres. Through my teenage years, I was an avid reader of Stephen King books, which is more along the horror and supernatural lines. More recently, I would say Star Trek, Lost and such programes encapsulate the story lines and human interest themes that I like. One of my favorite films is ‘Contact’ with Jodie Foster, and in my book there are a few tiny little tributes to it.


3. When did you know you would be a writer?
When I was a child! I was always known for writing stories when I was at school. The teachers would read them out to the class and when I was 12, I expanded an English class assignment to a novella about my class being stranded on a desert island after the cruise ship sank. It was rather Lost-esque, with giant rabbits and aliens, but the class mostly enjoyed all the interactions between the characters, as they were the stars! Since then, I’ve written a few more novel length books but I wanted my stories to have maturity so I waited until I was much older before I put one out. I think it’s best to write with the wisdom of experience, of relationships and of people; it creates stronger characters and enriched interactions between them. So in conclusion, I think writing has always been in my blood.


4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
The first one that I knew I would release took about four years, partly due to the dreadful inconvenience of full time teaching! So much of this book was written when I had spare time in the evenings after work. Neither did I want to rush; I’m very much a perfectionist at heart and I wanted to craft something that was not only imaginative, but detailed in the cultural and historical contexts, as well as the underpinning scientific theory and the depth of the characters. I needed to know that my creation would be as beautiful as I’d already intended it to be. Readers won’t have to wait so long for the second one in the series though!


5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I don’t suffer particularly from writer’s block, as I understand the ebb and flow in the tides of creativity. But I would say now the challenge lies in juggling the marketing and promotion of the first book while visualizing and writing the second. These tasks use different sides of the brain; one is logical and organized while the latter is about letting go and being receptive. It’s like switching between savory and sweet food, one or the other but not both together!


6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I try to get my social networking done before I write, but I tend to have it on the background; it often allows me a quick breather if writing a long, technical section. In terms of rituals, I would say music is really important, it can really help set the scene. There may be a specific album which fits the flavor of the chapter I’m writing, or the radio on the background. I find BBC Radio 1 night time music gets the imagination free flowing. I also tend to layer my writing, in that the first draft is purely about getting the plot elements and dialogue down and the subsequent edits involve enriching the dialogue, the setting and any technical issues.


7. Have you written any thing else?
I’ve written numerous stories throughout my childhood, teenage years and adulthood, but ‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’ is the first to go to print and be released to the world. Out of all the potential novels I wrote, I felt this would be the ideal vehicle with which to debut.


8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t rush; craft your story with care, patience and above all, passion. Pass it to a variety of people to read in manuscript form, and ideally one or two people you don’t know very well, so you can get a more unbiased opinion. Take on feedback and appraise your work with honesty. Then after it’s published, be prepared to work extremely hard promoting it. See it as a journey and enjoy the ride.


9. Who are your favorite Authors?
Stephen Baxter writes some spectacular science fiction, I particularly like ‘The Time Ships’, his sequel to ‘The Time Machine’ while David Zindell writes some extraordinary sci fi too. I like the work of Khaled Hosseini, the writer of ‘The Kite Runner’, as his books are very powerful and moving.


10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Difficult to say, I draw my ideas for ‘Seven Point Eight’ from a variety of non-fiction sources and each of these has contributed to it in their own way. I’ve included a bibliography in the back of the book.


11. What are you currently reading?
I’m reading an ebook called ‘Can You See the Music’ by Reagan McGuire. It’s about the effect of an extended lifespan on five people. I’m reviewing it for him and will be posting an author interview on my website.


12. How do readers find out more about you?
You can read my general blog, biography and a sample chapter of my book on my website. I also copy reviews from various sources such as Amazon and Goodreads on there too. I’m also on Twitter @marieharbon and on Facebook too. Please feel free to follow and request.
If you’re not lucky to win a free copy, you can find paperback copies at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also download the kindle version from Amazon or other ebook formats at Smashwords.com.


Seven Point Eight: The most powerful number in the universe. The number that connects everything. A physicist begins a quest to measure the soul but soon finds himself drawn into the world of the enigmatic Max Richardson, where research is sold to the military at the highest bid. However, he soon discovers another purpose when an extremely talented young psychic enters his life. He devises a project and builds a team to stretch the frontiers of exploration, only to make a reality-shattering discovery… The First Chronicle is the beginning of a 5 part epic which follows the spiritual and emotional journey of five people; their quest to understand the universe and our place within it. Along the way, they address the fundamental questions we all seek answers to: why are we here? What is the purpose of the universe? Is there a God? Quantum physics meets spirituality in a tale which begins in the 1940s, unfolds during the 1960s; an era of social and spiritual transformation and reaches its conclusion in the modern age. It interweaves the human dramas of love, betrayal, bitterness and above all, courage in a world where everyone must face their own dark shadow. A clever and intriguing story with underpinning geeky science and spiritual theory intertwined, full of sub-plots and fantastical worlds.

Please note: Contains some adult material.

Paperback: 466 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781461072485
Purchase at Amazon


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY...
Thanks to Marie, I have one paperback copy up for grabs to someone who resides in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom.
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 45 with me!



Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's that simple.


Yes. He was a mess. And if only every man on earth did messy the way Brandon did, the world would be a far, far better place.




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spirit Seeker Author Jamie Haden Visits (With Giveaway)

Spirit Seeker By Jamie Haden
ISBN: 9781617060748
Price: $14.99
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
Available at: www.pillhillpress.com & most other online retailers!

Book Description:
Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman.
Sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January—the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called—secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way.
For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her—Native Americans who know the way of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.
Book trailer links:
http://youtu.be/XFl1xzhOUjY
http://youtu.be/KV6O1JZESQQ

SPIRIT SEEKER A NOVEL by Jamie Haden
Spend the morning with Miguel Locklear and Dakota Revels. Characters from Spirit Seeker and musicians in Silence Island’s favorite reggae band The Dread Heads. Music follows the boys wherever they go. They have laid back attitudes and a divine understanding of movements of all kinds. Bob Marley himself would be pleased that his two faithful followers can shape-shift in and out of form while still humming The Redemption Song.
Visit them and listen to what inspires their music:
http://www.youtube.com/user/DreadHeadsSpiritSeek
Location: Silence and Cave Island, NC
Meet Miguel Locklear
Miguel Locklear, junior St. Elmo High School, Silence Island, NC
Favorite quote: “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” –Bob Marley
Bio: Miguel Locklear was born in Negril Jamaica. His mother is a Jamaican goddess. His father is a Lumbee Indian and master totem carver. His parents own Silence Island’s only grocery/diner. Miguel is stunning. Hot. His beautiful baby blue eyes are captivating. He has dark black skin and a head full of knotty coiled dread locks. He spends most of his time helping his parents at the diner or hanging out with friends. Miguel is the most popular kid at St. Elmo and started the island’s favorite reggae band The Dread Heads. Miguel is the lead singer and plays guitar. He has done an incredible job at keeping his identity at bay. No one knows what he truly is capable of doing—no one that is except for his blood brothers. And blood sister, Talisa Santiago.
Meet Dakota Revels.
Dakota Revels, sophomore St. Elmo High School, Silence, NC
Favorite quote: “When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them." ~Chief Seattle
Bio: Dakota Revels is a Native American Indian born on Cave Island, a paradise hideaway just across the Atlantic from Silence. His mother is the islands only midwife, and his dad is a master totem carver, known worldwide for his very special skills. Dakota plays bongos in The Dread Heads and spends most of his free time helping his father around his shop making hand-carved bow and arrows. With razor sharp instincts, Dakota knows everything there is to know about spirits. Everything. And then some. Dakota physique is flawless. He is gorgeous with long black hair and deep dark eyes. His chest is tattooed by lines that weave together to symbolize he is filled with the spirit. Simply put, the markings are an artistic wonder in green and black ink. Dakota has a wild animal magnetism that drives all the girls wild. However, he only has eyes for one girl, his best friend girlfriend Talisa Santiago.
Talisa Santiago is The Spirit Seeker.
Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden
Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman.
Sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January—the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called—secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist. Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way.
For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her—Native Americans who know the way of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.
Spirit Seeker is now available in Print at Pill Hill Press and most online retailers.
Also available on Kindle.
Visit Jamie: www.jamiehaden.com
About Jamie Haden: Jamie is a Cherokee Indian and lives by the seashore in Wilmington, NC with her husband and three daughters. Jamie has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and taught special education at the middle school level in Kentucky and North Carolina. Jamie is currently working on Illuminate-Alive, she cried, the sequel to Spirit Seeker.

http://www.facebook.com/jamielhaden
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Seeker-YA-Novel-by-Jamie-Haden/164228800283194
http://twitter.com/sippingbythesea
http://goodreads.com/jamiehaden
http://jamiehaden.blogspot.com


Five print copies of Spirit Seeker will be given away tour wide
I encourage readers to like the Spirit Seeker Facebook page
Follow on Twitter
Follow the blog
And leave a comment on any tour stop.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Designerliners Stylish Colorful Decorative Biodegradable Trash Bags


Designerliners are stylish biodegradable trash bags that can beautify any room in the home. The bags come in ten different color/pattern combinations; Pink Polka Dot, Orange Polka Dot, Navy Blue Polka Dot, Red Gingham, Gold Gingham, Black Leopard, Blue Leopard, Red Toile, Blue Toile, and Black Tattersol.

Website


My Opinion:
Love these cool and stylish bags! They fit nicely in most office or bathroom garbage cans. And the styles to choose from are great!
I was sent some red checkered bags. They reminded me of a picnic table cloth, but I liked that. Immediately I put it in my garbage can and though they are a little large, it was okay to fold them over and create a new look on my can.
I appreciated that they held together well, and were easy to dispose of too.
Definitely a new favorite for me, since I am constantly at the Dollar Store buying up all the little bags I can find.


5/5


Recommend? Most definitely!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!


At noon on Monday, Alison brought her car to a halt in front of a dreamy little two-story prairie-style house on the outskirts of downtown Plano. It was painted a soft, mossy green with burgundy trim, and its front porch spanned the width of the house.

# 135: The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

Visit VVB32 Reads for Talk Like A Pirate Day.
OFFICIAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY WEBSITE






In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with 'the dust of one hundred dogs', dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body - with her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Flux
ISBN: 9780738714264

©2009





My Opinion:
If you could see me now, you would see me standing tall, clapping bravo to A.S. for such an incredible adventure. I really feel like I just got back from the most amazing time in my life.
Saffron, Emer, whatever you wanna call her, she is brilliant! I would get on a ship and do her bidding too! She's incredibly strong and has a lasting impression on you right away.
This mash up of old times and the now is really cool! I mean uber-cool! It was also a delight to have a dogs perspective, since that's sorta what it was all about.
I know some of you are like, what?! But you really gotta read the book to find out. I don't want to spoil it.


5/5


Recommend? Definitely, yes!


~I won my copy at Velvet's blog, ironic, I know. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Get to Know Author Joseph Rinaldo

Please welcome author Joseph Rinaldo to the blog today. Why don't you check out his website, and come back and let me know what you found interesting.


1. Please tell readers about your current book.

My one and only ebook available for sale at this point is A Spy At Home.
When Dad becomes the lone caregiver for a dependent adult son, Dad has to answer the terrifying question: What happens if I die first?
Toward the end of his career in the CIA, Garrison sees his work as a foreign field agent as a deadly and foolish game that wastes money for no good reason. The CIA trained Garrison to go into third-world countries and promote rebellion. Ideally, the rebels would take control and further American interests in the area. Having spent his entire professional life working for the CIA, Garrison no longer believes the agency helps America by overthrowing governments in impoverished countries. On his last assignment, this disenchanted spy diverts most of the money intended for the rebels. The sum, a moderate amount for a small war-torn country, ensures Garrison and his family a comfortable life.
Now retired, Garrison experiences the pain he inflicted on his family during his life abroad. Noah, Garrison’s adult son with Down syndrome, a form of mental retardation, doesn’t trust his dad any more. Experience has taught Noah that his dad always leaves again. Over time, and with much effort on Garrison’s part, they grow closer, finding mutual interests in fishing and weight-lifting.
Louisa, Garrison’s wife, gradually accepts her husband back despite her feelings about his theft. When Noah’s congenital heart problem worsens and requires surgery, her rage at having had to raise Noah by herself boils back to the surface. She lashes out at her husband, constantly reminding him about his lack of knowledge regarding Noah’s heart condition. Accepting Garrison as her husband and trusting him with her child present two separate obstacles.
Garrison throws himself into Noah’s recovery. Physical training is something Garrison understands, and he uses that knowledge to help Noah return to Special Olympics weight-lifting and basketball. As Noah improves, Louisa begins to see Garrison as an ally, not an intrusion.
Tragedy strikes, and Louisa dies. Once again, Garrison’s good intentions prove costly. When drugged-out thieves break in to his house one night, and Garrison reacts as his CIA training dictates, he eliminates the threat. Unfortunately, a stray bullet causes collateral damage when it terminates Louisa. Now Noah has to trust his dad.
Noah develops Alzheimer’s disease, a common occurrence for aging adults with Down syndrome. The ravages of this disease tear at Garrison’s heart. Noah ceases to be in the present moment and relives a life his dad knew nothing about because he just wasn’t there. For this single father, the value of the money he stole shrinks with every revelation of the home life he missed.

2. Who or what inspires your writing?
Like Garrison, I have a child with Down syndrome. People with Down are living much longer than ever before, which means my daughter might outlive my wife and me. Who would take care of her as well as we do? This question haunts every parent with a dependent child. My wife wrote a short story based on this concern. I blatantly stole her idea and added a spy, stolen millions, a beach house on a Caribbean island.

3. When did you know you would be a writer?
The actual impetus for me to begin writing came while I was reading Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. When I got to the part where he received a million-dollar advance, I thought, “Holy cow! He’s a good writer, but I know I can do this, too.” I’ve been writing since that day in 2004.
Eight years prior to reading about the million-dollar advance, I had only considered writing once in my life. Living alone, I hand-wrote a page of a would-be book that I later read to my girlfriend, who is now my wife. She said the characters didn’t really tell the story and that she heard me reciting the story rather than the voice of the main character. I wadded up the sheet of paper and threw it away. I never forgot what she said and believe I have corrected those mistakes in A Spy At Home.

4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
A Spy At Home took a few months to write. My wife supported the family while I wrote books.

5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Like Garrison, I have a child with Down syndrome. People with Down are living much longer than ever before, which means my daughter might outlive my wife and me. Who would take care of her as well as we do? This question haunts every parent with a dependent child. As mentioned above, my wife addressed this concern in her short story. The worst part of writing this book was thinking, what if my wife and I are in a car wreck where we both die? Our daughter’s waiting at home, and we never return. What would she do? Who would she call? Will she remember how to use the pre-programed numbers in her cell phone? Those kinds of thoughts made this a difficult book to write.

6. Do you have any writing rituals?
When I first started writing, I had to have the house quiet. Now that doesn’t matter. As for having a scented peppermint candle burning or having a picture of Amelia Earhart facing east, no, I don’t have any rituals like that.

7. Have you written anything else?
Another book, Hazardous Choices, has been professionally edited and will be released in the near future. We’re waiting to release it until we’ve promoted A Spy At Home as fully as we can. I have seven more books waiting to be professionally edited and released. As we save the money for more editing, we’ll get the others done, too. At present I have three books floating around in my head but can’t find the time to write them. Hopefully, A Spy At Home will be made into a movie, and I’ll have Garrison’s boat where I can write all day long!

8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Write what you know! That is almost as stupid as “everything in moderation” (which I’ve been trying to convince people since I was twelve, is a joke; recently I learned it was said by Roman comic dramatist Terence poking fun at Aristotle’s philosophy).
Quick, write something you don’t know. Impossible. Write what sounds believable and entertaining. If you read Stephen King’s The Shining, you’re really convinced the hotel was haunted. Because ghosts don’t actually exist, no one can “know” them. Yet, Mr. King gave life to the imagined.

9. Who are your favorite Authors?
I’m an avid reader oddball. I don’t read everything by any author. To me reading is about individual books. To make myself even more of a freak, I rarely read more than the first sentence of a book jacket before checking out a library book. I want the whole book to be a surprise.

10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Sharp Objects for fiction and The Children’s Blizzard for non-fiction are two excellent books. Honestly, I can’t remember who wrote them. Sharp Objects seemed so real! My skin crawled just reading that book! The title might conjure up a wide range of images, so here’s one hint about the book: it’s not a slasher/horror read. The sharpest points cut the emotions. The Children’s Blizzard describes a horrible snow storm on the US plains in the 1800s. The author details the events so well you’ll feel like you’re watching the events more than reading about them. This snow storm terrorized everyone in its path. This story will stick with you long after you finish it.

11. What are you currently reading?
An H. G. Wells book written before World War I. In this book Germany attacks the United States with a fleet of high-tech dirigibles. My wife downloaded this to our Kindle, and I started reading without knowing anything about it. I’d recommend it because, technology aside, the protagonist must come to terms with the romanticized vision he had of war not being accurate when he sees the carnage.

12. How do readers find out more about you?
My website is at www.josephmrinaldo.com, I have a blog site at http://wwwjosephmrinaldocom.blogspot.com, and the buy URL for A Spy At Home is at http://www.amazon.com/A-SPY-AT-HOME-ebook/dp/B0033WSVVC. Readers can find reviews for my book on the Amazon page, as well as an excerpt from the book. I am also on Facebook and Twitter (@jmrinaldo), and a member of Goodreads, Book Blogs, LinkedIn, Shelfari, and Writers & Readers of Distinctive Fiction.


A retired CIA operative comes to believe he wasted his professional life not only promoting questionable American policies, but missing life with his family. To ease the pain he diverts millions that the CIA expected him to use funding a coup attempt that would establish a pro-American government in an African country. Seeing the coup would fail, Garrison decides to save the money for himself. You, the reader, can decide if he's a villain with evil intent, a hero with altruistic motives, or a regular guy sick of working for peanuts in a dangerous environment.
Back at home he and his wife look forward to their golden years being luxuriously comfortable and opulently relaxed. Unfortunately, after his wife dies in a tragic accident, he must learn all that she knew about caring for Noah, their mentally retarded son. After a life of planning for contingencies, the former spy must deal with the possibility that he may die before his son. Who will care for the son when the dad spent a life out of the country and now has no one to lean on?

Kindle Edition: 285 KB
ASIN: B0033WSVVC
Purchase at Amazon HERE

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giveaway: India Black and the Widow of Windsor - Carol K. Carr

Black is back-Her Majesty's favorite spy is off to Scotland in this new adventure to ensure the Queen doesn't end up getting killed.
When Queen Victoria attends a séance, the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, insists she spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral. Prime Minister Disraeli suspects the Scottish nationalists plan to assassinate the Queen-and sends the ever resourceful India and the handsome British spy, French, to the Scottish highlands.
French will take the high road, looking for a traitor among the guests-and India will take the low road, disguised as a servant in case an assassin is hiding among the household staff. India is certain that someone at Balmoral is determined to make this Her Majesty's last Christmas...


READ MY REVIEW HERE


This is book 2 in the series, and I do think you should read book 1, India Black, first. Read my review of that one HERE.

Thanks to Carol, the author, and her awesome publisher, we have 2 copies up for grabs!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter....



Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Friday 56

Welcome to Week 44 with me!



Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It's that simple.


To be seen on the arm of Foster Worth, her future brother-in-law, couldn't hurt her prospects for next season.




Quick & Easy Recipes for Busy Moms

With school starting again, sports practices and work, September is a busy time for Mom! To help in the kitchen, Kraft and Paula Deen’s Real Women of Philadelphia online community have shared some of their favorite quick and easy recipes with Philadelphia Cream Cheese to cook a delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.

Quick and easy recipes include:
·         Santa Fe Chicken Tacos  With Avocado Cream
·         Hidden Veggie Garlic and Bacon Pasta
·         Easy Chicken Flautas
·         Cheesy Beef and Potatoes

More delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes like these are featured on Paula Deen and Kraft Foods’ online community – Real Women of Philadelphia and in their cookbook Real Women of Philadelphia: The Cookbook which can be purchased online at Lulu.com.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#134: Nine Dragons - Michael Connelly


9 Dragons is the 14th novel in the Harry Bosch series and the 22nd book (21st novel) by American crime author Michael Connelly. It was released worldwide on October 13, 2009, although it had been released in the U.K. and Ireland on October 1. The novel is partly set in Hong Kong, where Bosch's daughter Maddie and ex-wife Eleanor Wish live. The main plot involves Maddie being kidnapped by a Chinese Triad (crime syndicate), which Bosch believes is due to his investigation of an L.A. murder, in which his primary suspect is a member of a triad that was shaking down the victim. As a result, Bosch heads to Hong Kong in an effort to rescue her. The name of the most populated region of Hong Kong, Kowloon, means "nine dragons" in English.




Audio CD: 9 Discs
Publisher: Hachette Audio
ISBN: 9781600247439
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link in the photo.

©2009


My Opinion:
Did any of you watch Hill Street Blues or Cagney & Lacey in the 80's? This book was reminiscent of those shows to me.
I hadn't listened or read any of the books in the series before, and maybe this wasn't the best place to start, with book 14, but I did like the story. It surrounded this no-nonsense cop and this case involving the Triads. So there was a bit of violence and general gang activity, but the rest of the story was flat to me. I just felt like I had heard it all before.
So I wasn't bowled over by it or turned off either, I fell right in between with this one.


2.5/5


Recommend? Not really.


~I received a copy from Hachette Book Group. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Giveaway: EBook: Boyfriend from Hell - E. Van Lowe


Aww, Hell No!
Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together.
“But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…”
The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago.
Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. But neither of the handsome guys is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours, I have 1 PDF copy up for grabs!
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter, but remember there IS a mandatory entry.



#133 : Wunderkind - Nikolai Grozni


Life in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the late 1980s is bleak and controlled. The oppressive Communist regime bears down on all aspects of people’s lives much like the granite sky overhead. In the crumbling old building that hosts the Sofia Music School for the Gifted, inflexible and unsentimental apparatchiks drill the students like soldiers—as if the music they are teaching did not have the power to set these young souls on fire.
Fifteen-year-old Konstantin is a brash, brilliant pianist of exceptional sensitivity, struggling toward adulthood in a society where honest expression often comes at a terrible cost. Confined to the Music School for most of each day and a good part of the night, Konstantin exults in his small rebellions—smoking, drinking, and mocking Party pomp and cant at every opportunity. Intelligent and arrogant, funny and despairing, compassionate and cruel, he is driven simultaneously by a desire to be the best and an almost irresistible urge to fail. His isolation, buttressed by the grim conventions of a loveless society, prevents him from getting close to the mercurial violin virtuoso Irina, but also from understanding himself.
Through it all, Konstantin plays the piano with inflamed passion: he is transported by unparalleled explorations of Chopin, Debussy, and Bach, even as he is cursed by his teachers’ numbing efforts at mind control. Each challenging piano piece takes on a life of its own, engendering exquisite new revelations. A refuge from a reality Konstantin detests, the piano is also what tethers him to it. Yet if he can only truly master this grandest of instruments—as well as his own self-destructive urges—it might just secure his passage out of this broken country.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Free Press
ISBN: 9781451616910
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link in the photo.

©2011


Author Bio:
Nikolai Grozni, a native of Bulgaria and a world-class pianist in his youth—sets this electrifying portrait of adolescent longing and anxiety against a backdrop of tumultuous, historic world events. Hypnotic and headlong, Wunderkind gives us a stunningly urgent, acutely observed, and wonderfully tragicomic glimpse behind the Iron Curtain at the very end of the Cold War, reminding us of the sometimes life-saving grace of great music.




My Opinion:
This is a beautifully written story. The words the author chose at times were poetic and so eloquent.
I did feel a slight disconnect throughout the book. Not being trained in music made it hard to keep up with what was going on at moments, though the other moments I found to be romantic, even if slightly vulgar.
Definitely something swirled within me, igniting all five of my senses. I think even if you feel that slight connect, there is so much more going on that you will crave knowing the end.
I don't think everyone will like this story, though I believe it will be more of an acquired taste.


3/5



Recommend? You have to read for yourself to form an opinion, so yes.


~I received a copy from Free Press. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

#132 : Boyfriend from Hell - E. Van Lowe

Synopsis & Book Info:
Aww, Hell No!
Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together.
“But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…”
The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago.
Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. But neither of the handsome guys is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.


Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: White Whisker Books
ISBN: 9780983632900
Purchase at Barnes & Noble


Author Bio:
E. Van Lowe is an author, television writer, screenwriter, Playwright and Producer who has written and produced such shows as The Cosby Show, Even Stevens, and Homeboys In Outer Space. He has been nominated for both an Emmy and an Academy Award. Van Lowe recently stepped into the young adult fiction genre with his comedic novel, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie. It was a selection of the Scholastic Book Club, and a nominee for an ALA Award. Boyfriend From Hell is Van Lowe’s second YA novel.

Website
Blog
Facebook


©2011


My Opinion:
*CLAP* *CLAP* *CLAP*
I loved this book! The idea that your mom could be dating the devil is hilarious, and yet frightening.
This story was well told, and well played out. I wasn't expecting some of it, and that I really appreciated. Solid characters and a well defined plot make for a really fun read!
I hope to get my hands on the second in the series, Earth Angel.


5/5


Recommend?  OH YEAH!!!


~I received a copy from Bewitching Book Tours. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Monday, September 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

SHOULD BE READING


* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
* Please avoid spoilers!








Dallas O'Connor walked into the building that housed both his business and apartment. Stopping just inside the doorway, he waited. Five seconds. Ten.

Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011 (COMPLETED)


HOST


Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011


RULES:
* To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

* You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

* You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

* At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster - you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.




One of my favorite genres, and when I saw this challenge I flipped back and forth, but what the hay! Let's do this!



1. THR3E - Ted Dekker
2. India Black - Carol K. Carr
3. House of Dark Shadows - Robert Liparulo
4. The Breath of God - Jeffrey Small
5. Never Knowing - Chevy Stevens
6. Private - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
7. The Hypnotist - M.J. Rose
8. Shoulder Bags and Shootings - Dorothy Howell
9. Beg for Mercy - Jami Alden
10. Tempest in the Tea Leaves - Kari Lee Townsend
11. Remember Me - Christopher Pike
12. India Black and the Widow of Windsor - Carol K. Carr

#131: India Black and the Widow of Windsor - Carol K. Carr


Black is back-Her Majesty's favorite spy is off to Scotland in this new adventure to ensure the Queen doesn't end up getting killed.
When Queen Victoria attends a séance, the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, insists she spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral. Prime Minister Disraeli suspects the Scottish nationalists plan to assassinate the Queen-and sends the ever resourceful India and the handsome British spy, French, to the Scottish highlands.
French will take the high road, looking for a traitor among the guests-and India will take the low road, disguised as a servant in case an assassin is hiding among the household staff. India is certain that someone at Balmoral is determined to make this Her Majesty's last Christmas...



Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN: 9780425243190
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link on the photo.

©2011


AUTHOR BIO:
Carol K. Carr is a former attorney and corporate executive. She lives in Missouri. Visit her website.








MY REVIEW OF INDIA BLACK (Book 1)













My Opinion:
I really loved India, when I read the first book, I could remember she was such a strong woman that I admired while reading.
This second book was along the same lines, but different as well. I have to admit, I enjoyed the story in the first book better just a little bit, but because it was that feeling when introduced to such a great character.
This story was a great escape, filled with a great mystery, even though I had it right all along to a degree. Still it had unpredictability too and I was happy with the ending.
I do have to ask Carol, what are you planning next? I sure would like to know what she will do with the gift French gave her in the end of the book. (You all will have to read the book to have an understanding of what I'm talking about.)


5/5


Recommend? Yes, but read book 1 first!


~I received a copy from the author. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

#130: Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems - Emma Eden Ramos

A truly unique and awe-inspiring collection, Emma Eden Ramos wows readers with her narrative-style writing in Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems.

37 Pages
Download a free PDF

©2011


My Opinion:
A unique way of telling the story of 3 women and how they connect in the end. Usually I prefer verse poetry, but this story was properly fitted with the prose Emma chose.
I really enjoyed the 3 women, Annette, Julia and Milena, though I appreciate Milena's no-bullshit attitude most.
Definitely a quick read, but a good one.


5/5


Recommend? Yes!


~I received a digital copy from the author. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back To School Sampler Pack and Progress Book


The "Back To School Sampler Pack" includes 15 Progress Cards focused on the best ways to help prepare children to start the school year off with the greatest chance for success!

The 15 Progress Cards included in this Sampler Pack are: Attendance Tips, Bedtime Routine, Bus Safety, Discover Similarities With Others, Focus & Listen Better, Friendship Skills, Healthy Meals & Snacks, Homework Routine, Learning Attitudes, Morning Routine, Responding To Put-Downs, Sleep Better, Stick Up For Others, Study Skills, and Test Taking Tips.

Progress Books are reproducible for other children to use. The Progress Book is designed to help children identify their current strengths and to help them decide which areas they wish to improve. Matching Progress Cards are available for all 70 areas to help children identify specific behaviors to practice in order to achieve their goal(s).

You can visit the website and download 2-3 samples from the Friendship Skills & Study Skills.




©2011


My Opinion:
These cards are great for smaller children and teaching them about responsibility in our daily lives. I don't find them effective on teenagers though, which is what I have. I tried to get him to use them, but he wasn't having it. His exact words were, "They're for babies, mom."
Regardless, as a parent, I thought if he was a few years younger it would be a great way to get him involved.
So parents to younger children ages 5-10, this is great for you!


3/5


Recommend? To parents of kids Ages 5-10


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

#129 : Jack the Theorist - John Hartless (WIth Giveaway & Guest Post)


Only one man dares to confront the meaning behind the crimes. Only one man sees through the tangled skin to the truth. Only one man knows the answers.
Or, at least, only one man thinks he knows the answers... Follow Professor Wolf, the world’s first Ripperologist, on his delusional journey into the world of the Ripper. Follow his long-suffering friend, Sir Arthur Smythe, who suspects that it will all end in tears.
Gasp at the revelations. Tremble at the truth. Wonder at the sanity of a mind that leaps from conspiracy to conspiracy without ever touching reality.

Kindle Edition: 152 KB
Publisher: Vagabondage Press LLC
ASIN: B005H82HG0
Purchase at Amazon by clicking the link on the photo.

©2011


My Opinion:
Interesting, to say the least.
I enjoyed the theories, and how they flowed within the story.
Sherlock Holmes fans will like this a lot.


4/5


Recommend? Yes



~I received a digital copy from Vagabondage Press. I was not compensated for my opinion.~

Please give a really warm welcome to author, Jon Hartless. He wrote the novella, Jack the Theorist. Please visit his book website, (just click the title), and come back and tell me if you read the excerpt. What did you think?

In The Words Of Jon;
Labeling my work is not something I tend to think about much. Apart from a rather vague notion that the story I’m working on is, say, sci-fi or steampunk, that is about it. I just don’t think about it, I simply write it.
This happened with my novella, Jack the Theorist. I read some of the theories on Jack the Ripper and came to the conclusion that most are pure bunkum. How anyone can believe the drivel they have produced on the identity and motive of the killer is beyond me, and this made me wonder if the writers did actually believe their own theories. After all, when you start claiming the Duke of Clarence was the murderer, based on a vague and rambling story, later retracted, you do begin to question the research and morality of the ripperologists.
As such, I was inspired to write a story in which an overenthusiastic proto-ripperologist begins to investigate the murders as they happen. At first, it is little more than a new sideline to him. Then it becomes a nice little earner. Then it becomes a big earner and the man is lost in a labyrinth of self deception in which any theory, no matter how ridiculous, is held up as the ultimate truth, at least until the next theory comes along.
In doing so, I was conscious of nothing more than creating a darkly humorous work of fiction. It took the publisher, Vagabondage Press, to put the obvious label on it and define it as satire. Which the work undoubtedly is. It is just odd that I never saw that as I was writing it.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the publisher for not only accepting the work, but for marketing it in a way that would be beyond me. After all, if even the writer doesn’t have a clear idea of what the story is, how can the reader be guided toward it?
Jack the Theorist is out now, published at Vagabondage Press, and is available from their website.


AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY:
Thanks to Jon, I have 5 digital copies up for grabs! You can get PDF, MOBI or EPUB.
Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Top 10 Finalists are Announced and Voting Opens in Final Round of the Avon Voices Global Singing Talent Search

Avon Voices Songwriting Competition Winners Also Announced

NEW YORK, September 8, 2011-- Avon Products, Inc. announced the names of the 10 Finalists from nine countries who will be advancing to the final round of Avon Voices  – the company's first-ever global online singing talent search. The 10 Finalists (in alphabetical order by last name) are Pauline Alencar from Brazil, Evelina Anusauskaite from Lithuania, Cissy Crutcher and Jaclyn Dustin from the Unites States, Selena Gittens from Canada, Joy Loria from the Philippines, Roslynn Mahe from the United Kingdom, Rapeeporn Pratum-Anon from Thailand, Claudia Santos Morandi from Venezuela and Natalia Terekhova from Russia. These 10 talented women started their Avon Voices journey in December 2010 by simply submitting a 30-second performance video. Since that time, the Finalists have advanced through three rounds of voting, with 2.4 million votes cast from around the world.  As part of this journey, they have travelled on two unforgettable trips on behalf of Avon Voices, the most recent in July when they ventured to Hollywood, California to record their final performance videos.
Ultimately, two winners, one an Avon Representative, will be announced in November when the Finalists travel to New York City for the Avon Voices Finale and the Avon Foundation for Women Gala.  While in New York City, the Final 10 will perform live in front of the Avon Voices celebrity judges and an invited global audience at the world famous Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  Other highlights of their trip will include recording the Avon Voices anthem written by music industry legend Diane Warren and performing at the highly-anticipated Avon Foundation for Women Gala, where the two Avon Voices winners will be announced.  Both the Avon Voices Finale and the Avon Foundation for Women Gala will be Livestreamed on AvonVoices.com on November 1 and November 2, respectively.
"Watching these amazingly talented women reach for their dreams over the past 10 months has been a tremendous source of inspiration for our 40,000 Avon Associates and 6.5 million Avon Representatives around the world,” said Joe Billone, Vice President, Global Representative Branding & Communications, Avon Products, Inc.  “We are so proud of the 10 Finalists who truly embody women’s empowerment and while there will only be two official winners of the talent search, all of our global Contenders have felt as though they’ve already won, having been on this once-in-a-lifetime journey with Avon Voices."
Also announced today are the winning songs selected for the Avon Voices songwriting competition for men and women which drew in 2,000+ entries from more than 50 countries.  All winning songwriters will have their song professionally critiqued by David Pack, Grammy Award winning record producer.  Two Grand Prize winners will be selected and will join the Avon Voices Finalists in New York for the Avon Foundation for Women Gala and may be offered a music publishing contract.  For a full list of Finalists and winning songwriters, go to AvonVoices.com
The two Avon Voices talent search winners will be selected by a combination of online public voting and a renowned judging panel of music industry leaders from around the world, including: Fergie, six-time Grammy award winner; Diane Warren, legendary songwriter; Natasha Bedingfield, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter; Lea Salonga, Filipina singer and actress; Valeriya, Russian sensation; Delta Goodrem, Australian Artist of the Decade; Sheila E., breakthrough, Grammy-nominated female percussionist; David Pack, Grammy award-winning singer/composer and music producer; Ivete Sangalo, Brazil’s biggest pop star; Maia, Colombian singing star; and Diego Torres, Grammy nominated singer/composer.
It’s Not Too Late to Get Involved!  If You Haven’t Registered, Do it Now!
Avon Voices invites women from around the world to join this global movement through music in celebration of Avon’s 125th Anniversary.  Go to the program's official website – AvonVoices.com – to register to be part of the year-long program and access the following features:
  • View and Vote:  Watch the Final Contenders’ performance and highlights videos, and cast your votes weekly from September 8 – October 15 at AvonVoices.com.
  • Listen & Learn:  Hear all the winning songs from the songwriting competition and learn about the composers and lyricists.
  • Discover Exclusive Music:  "Shoot for the Stars," a song written and sung by Natasha Bedingfield and "Until You Love You," written by Diane Warren, produced by David Pack and sung by Valeriya and other recordings by Avon Voices judges and additional artists are available for purchase exclusively through AvonVoices.com. A percentage of the purchase price of all recordings will help advance the Avon Foundation for Women's global campaign to end violence against women and girls.  To date, Avon global philanthropy has raised and awarded more than $30 million directed to domestic and gender violence awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs. 

To learn more about Avon Voices, go to AvonVoices.com or click here for multimedia assets.  Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

About Avon Products, Inc.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue.  As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.5 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives.  Avon's product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark.  Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com

About Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies

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