Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Waking the Dead by D.B. Sieders- Book Release and Giveaway!

The road to hell begins
when the reaper darkens her door.
WAKING THE DEAD
D.B. SIEDERS
Series: Soul Broker # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense
Publisher: City Owl Press
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
The road to hell begins when the reaper darkens her door.
A chance encounter with a dying stranger opens an empathic connection between down-on-her-luck caregiver Vivian Bedford and the world of spirits. Lazarus Darkmore, a grim reaper in a charming and seductive package, seeks to recruit her as a soul broker. Guardian spirit Ezra and his new apprentice Zeke offer protection from the reaper--so long as she works on their side of afterlife management. But these guardians are no angels, and their methods leave Vivian fearing the price of their protection.
Her ability to channel conscious energy from the living, something no guardian or reaper can do, could be a game changer. If she can control it, she can use this power as leverage. And she needs a bargaining chip, especially when she discovers that incapacitated living mortals can supply energy for the spirit realm, making her disabled sister Mae a prime target for guardian and reaper alike.
Can she move from pawn to major player in order to save Mae, and herself, from a horrific fate beyond the simple and fleeting terrors of death?
I loved this story ... it was well written and there were plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep your interest.
- Mandy Parmenter, Goodreads Reviewer
Southern story telling around the campfire, at its level best.
- Jeff Lee, Goodreads Reviewer

Giveaway

WIN
Prizes up for grabs:
One $25 Amazon Gift Card
Three (3) free eBook copies of Lorelei's Lyric (Southern Elemental Guardians # 1)
Contest runs from March 28 - 30, 2017.

About D.B. Sieders

I was born and raised in East Tennessee and spent my childhood hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, wading barefoot in creeks, chasing salamanders, fish, and frogs. We loved to tell stories while sitting around the campfire.
Those days of frog chasing sparked my interest in biology. I am a working scientist by day, but I never lost my love of telling stories.
I write contemporary fantasy, fantasy romance, and contemporary romance. My stories feature unlikely heroes and heroines who face a healthy dose of angst as they strive for redemption and a happily ever after, which everyone deserves. I live in Nashville, Tennessee with my husband, two children, three cats, and my very active imagination.
Connect with D.B. Sieders on social media:

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Cimarron Girl by Mike Blanc

*Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a Kindle copy of Petals. Click Here!




For Middle-Grade Monday I am adding some history to my MG reading list- Cimarron Girl, The Dust Bowl Years of Abigail Brubaker, by Mike Blanc. I found this one on Netgalley and was immediately interested in learning about a time period in the US I knew nothing about, the Okie years. The nickname given to people fleeing from Oklahoma and the Dust Bowl.

The Story-
We begin in 1925 with the birth of Abigail and her early life in Cimarron, Oklahoma. In 1932 things start to change, and the drought begins. Her family remains in Oklahoma hoping to hold onto their life for several years until the final decision is made to sell everything and move to California. A lot of people are moving to California at this time, fleeing from a country wide drought, but Oklahoma is hit the hardest. Abigail and her family have a fight ahead of them to establish a new life among thousands of others doing the exact same thing.

My Thoughts- 

First off, let me just say, YES, this book is worth the read. It details a time of life in the US that many no nothing about. All the feedback I have is from an author's perspective and does not negate the worthiness of the book.

Now, historically I loved it. The end of the book has a look back into history, details about the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years, along with actual pictures of people and events from that time. I came to understand the cause of the Dust Bowl, of farming without leaving root bearing areas. It was top soil that blew across Oklahoma, and with the severe drought, there was no way to keep it down. Also, the graphics and art are wonderful.

The book is written in a diaryesque perspective. Abigail recounts events in her life divided up by years. This is a good way to chronicle events, however it did leave me feeling less of Abby's own voice. Her emotions didn't shine through as I thought they should.

Events in the book do a good job of relating the details of the dust bowl years. Abby tells of the black sand storms, the crop failures, the dangers of traveling among so many who'd lost everything. As a reader and writer, what I would have like to have seen is more happening to Abby or her family. All the bad things that happen, happen to others while she observes. Yes, her family is forced to move, but only after they are able to hang on while others flee. Someone dies in a dust storm, but it is just a boy she barely knows. When they move to California, they are able to get through border security, and because her father is a hard worker, they are able to have money. It would of had more impact on me as a reader to see events adversely affect her and her own.

My last comment, the final chapter is entitled, Return to Cimarron, and that got me excited. I wanted to see how they would rebuild where they left off, but the title is misleading. The third paragraph tells us they never returned to see it, and Abby just details cause and effects of the Dust bowl years.

So, like I said, some pro's and con's, but overall totally worth the read. Kids will get a great deal of information and see how life for someone their own age changed drastically due to the environment. Also, I read the kindle version, I think kids would like the paper version better. So if you can, give that one a try. I'm giving this one 3 stars!




Friday, March 24, 2017

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

YA Friday brings us a fun, new paranormal adventure entitled Garden of Thorns.

The Story-
Sixteen-year old Rose has been a slave in the cruel circus show called the Garden. She and a group of girls entertain spectators and if they mess up their act, their best friend is beaten. Now the traveling show has been called upon to perform at the Imperial City, and Rose's best friend is involved in a plot to free all the girls in the troop.

Things do not go well, and only Rose escapes. She finds herself rescued/kidnapped by Rayce, and outlaw Prince. He and his group of followers will do anything to take back the kingdom and free the people from the tyranny of its ruler.

Rose is valuable for her sneaking skills, and she joins the band on one condition, that they help her rescue the other girls in the Garden. But, Rose has a deep, dark secret and its truth will cause trouble for Rayce and his fighters- trouble and maybe even death.

My Thoughts-
Great book with strong characters and a fantastic plot line. Caution- there is violence and gruesome images. I loved the whole concept of this story. It is unique and though the prince and princess thing is old hat, the original concept of the Garden is chilling. At first I was confused. The girls in the circus are called flowers and the girls they bond with are their weeds. I never really understood if the weeds magically took on all the pain and punishment of the flowers or if they were physically beaten. I had to let that question go as the story progressed and I was caught up in the life or death race Rose makes for freedom.

Rose is strong and loyal. She will not abandon her "sisters" in the garden. Rayce is brave and open-hearted, a true prince.The villains are cruel and chilling. Overall, a nice set-up.

Plot wise I did have a question. There is a miracle mineral that makes Rayce and his people glow green and equips their stun guns. The use of these guns gives them advantage during attacks. My problem, if this mineral is so abundant underground in natural caves and tunnels, why is the Imperial city unable to easily find it?

Overall though, a fun book that kept me reading until the end. Despite my questions I'm bumping this one up to a 4 because it really held my interest. 4 stars!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SCBWI Summer Conference 2017

Are you a children's writer? Have you been to the BEST children's book conference in the world? Well, now's your chance. Registration for the Summer SCBWI conference opens today! It is a bit pricey, so consider going in with a room mate. This year, new month and new venue. You'll find more info HERE.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Dead Air by Michelle Schusterman

Don't forget to enter for chance to win a free Kindle copy of Petals, by Laurisa White Reyes! 

Welcome to Middle-Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing  a spooky fun book entitled, Dead Air - The Kat Sinclair Files #1 by Michelle Schusterman.

The Story-
 Kat's dad is the new host for the TV show Passport to Paranormal. A show that hunts and reveals ghosts. Since Kat's mom seems to come and go in her life, Kat heads off with her father to Brussels for his first episode. Things get strange right from the beginning when a strange note prints off from the computer and later a message containing 13 X's scrolls across the video player.

Kat and the producer's grandson, Oscar, are convinced that a real-life ghost is afoot. Together they begin researching the secret tunnels underneath the streets of the city. Kat also keeps all her friends back home up-to-date about her discovery by starting a blog chronicling her expeditions.

Her blog takes off in popularity, and it soon might be what saves the show from being axed by the network. Of course, a stalker leaving death threats and a ghost that keeps possessing the producer might just seal the deal first.

My Thoughts-
This was a really fun middle grade read that is the perfect level of scary without going into horror. Kat is a girl with mommy issues. She is haunted by what she calls "the Thing", something the book doesn't really delve into, and which I found odd. When "The Thing" was revealed in the end, I understood what it was, but I'd always thought it was a corporeal entity, not just a thought. So, I was confused there. Anyway, Kat is a brave girl who wants to get to the truth of all the paranormal phenomena happening around her. Her adventures are a treat and carry the reader through the plot.

The sub plot of a stalker is a great tension-filled ride that will leave the reader guessing until everything comes to a head in a spooky prison setting. This book was great fun and I think kids will enjoy the tale. I give it 4.5 stars!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Petals by Laurisa White Reyes- Book Launch and Giveaway!


Happy Book Launch to Petals by Laurisa White Reyes! A YA multi-cultural fiction with a thriller twist. I'm giving away 1 free kindle copy to 1 lucky reader! To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form at the very end. If you don't see it, click 'read more'.

The Story-
On Christmas Eve, a horrific car accident leaves Carly Perez without a mom. After a year of surgeries and counseling, Carly’s life is nearly back to normal—except for the monsters—vague, twisted images from the accident that plague her dreams. When her father insists on spending their first Christmas alone in Guatemala with a slew of relatives Carly has never met, she is far from thrilled, but she reluctantly boards the plane anyway.

That’s where she first spots the man with the scarred face. She could swear she has seen him before. But when? Where?

In Reu, the Guatemalan town where her father grew up, Carly meets Miguel, her attractive step-cousin, and thinks maybe vacation won’t be a total waste after all. Though she is drawn to him, Carly’s past holds her back—memories that refuse to be forgotten, and a secret about the accident that remains buried in her subconscious. And everywhere she turns, the man with the scarred face is there, driving that unwelcome secret to the surface.

My Thoughts-
A beautiful young adult coming of age story with a rich cultural background and a thrilling surprise twist. Carly doesn't want to go visit her relatives in Guatemala, but on the one year anniversary of her mother's death, her father decides it's time to meet the family. The setting is bold and brilliant, a weaving of images and traditions that sing to a reader's senses. I felt like I was in Guatemala as I read Carly's tale. It was fun to read of holiday traditions from another culture and observe things from Carly's point of view. Everything from the town of Reu to the jungles and old Mayan towers is brought to life by the author.

The character of Carly herself is well voiced and developed. She is a typical teenager, but is  dealing with a horrible tragedy. She struggles to find her way in this new world where her mother doesn't exist and her memories of the event are dark and horrible. She constantly sees a strange man, "raisin face", everywhere she goes, and these meetings bring on panic attacks and black outs. Who is this man? Why is he following her? These questions will pull you through the story and keep the tension high. The unveiling at the end is both soul wrenching and cathartic.

I really enjoyed this read. I highly recommend it! 5 Stars!


Excerpt-
In sixty seconds, Mom would be dead.
We’re driving down Telegraph Highway, the two of us, a wrapped gift box on my lap. It is rectangular, maybe fifteen inches tall, in red foil paper with a white bow on top. We were lucky to find the drug store still open on Christmas Eve.
Mom is pleased. She’s humming along with the radio, which is playing a lively fifties holiday song. Her thumbs tap out the tune on the steering wheel. Her car keys sway in the ignition, jingling like bells.
Outside, the sky is dark. Through the storm, the road ahead looks like a long tunnel.
Snow is falling.
It happens so fast there is no time to react. Bright lights hurtle toward us on our side of the road. Mom’s arms brace against the wheel. She thrusts her foot against the brake, but the road is slick with ice. The car swerves.
I hear a car horn blaring. I hear the crunch of metal, the pop of glass shattering. A powerful force shoves me against the car door as everything suddenly whirls in the wrong direction. I feel pain. I scream.
And then it’s over.
When I blink open my eyes, everything is white.
Snow is falling.

Buy it Now- 





Giveaway-

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Luck of the Irish $250 Giveaway

Feeling Lucky? Enter the St. Patty's Day Giveaway! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. If you don't see it, click 'read more'.




Luck of the Irish $250 Giveaway

March 17th to 31st

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 3/31/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.