Thursday, January 31, 2013

Giveaway Goodies: Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop Winner!

Wow, I got 204 entries this time. Thanks everyone who entered!

Without further ado, the winner was: Maria from USA!

She has already replied and picked:



Please check back later today for another giveaway hop!


Random Thoughts: January RAK Wrap-Up & February Sign-Up

I managed to get out one Birthday RAK and got one back! Yay!

So I sent out:

to Emily @ Doodles Book Blog from USA and it reached her ON HER BIRTHDAY!


Emily sent me (still awaiting it):
from my Top 5 Wishlist! Woot Woot!


Very happy with my bday RAK! Thanks loads Emily!


And now, onto February!



Book Soulmates



February! Month 2 of 2013, where did January go! Let's keep on RAKing!
Here's my Wishlist if you wanna send me anything.Thanks loads.


Here are a few of my top wishlist books for this month:
Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

And before we get TOO excited at the prospect of more wonderful books, please remember to read the rules deemed worthy by our lovely hosts at Book Soulmates and Sign Up to take part!
COMPLETE RULES RE-CAP:
Please read carefully & follow all rules!  Thank you!
  • Please sign-up each month that you can participate (and by participate, we mean give as well as receive).
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button (code is in the right sidebar).
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog, etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger directly for their information.
  • Once you receive a RAK, send us an our new email to [rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com] so that we can update the Google Doc. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS!
  • E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle Store is set up to allow this, as well as the Kobo store and we believe Barnes & Noble with Nook as well.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K by making a "RAK Wrap-Up" post.  This post should include who you SENT gifts to as well who you RECEIVED gifts from :)
OPEN TO EVERYONE including all our International brethren!
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy peezy!!

 Links you will need:
Sign up for February 2013 [HERE]
See who else is participating [HERE]
If you have any questions regarding RAK, please contact us via the following: rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com


Tips:
1. When talking about RAK on Twitter, please use the hashtag: #RAK. It makes it much easier to keep track of the conversations, answer questions and/or tweet back! =)
2. When submitting your wish list, please make sure that it is set to PUBLIC viewing. Some people have had trouble with wish lists that were set to private. We want to be sure that no one is left out of getting great RAKs.
3. Some of you have gotten frustrated because you can't get your links to appear active. This is a very easy fix :) Just make sure that when you enter your link, do NOT hit the Enter key. Instead, hit the TAB key which will send you to the next field on the form. Additional spaces entered after the link will leave the link inactive.  However, if this does happen to you, no worries, we'll fix it for you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Jack Templar Monster Hunter Blog Tour & Giveaway

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.


Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.





Kirkus Reviews

"Gunhus brings young readers a monster-filled romp to read at their own risk. In the first few pages, Jack, the storyteller and main character, warns readers not to read about these real-world monsters that would seem to only exist in fiction. The tone is set--sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and likable; rooting for Jack is easy...Gunhus masterfully introduces fully realized characters with whom readers can connect almost instantly. The pacing is quick but not rushed, and events seamlessly progress, complete with action, cliff-hangers and surprise reveals. "


Amazon Reviews

Watch out Percy Jackson here comes Jack Templar
Move over Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there's a new kid in town - Jack Templar, and he will take you on a wonderful adventure of good vs evil, with friends and enemies at every turn. The twists and turns keep the reader on a roller coaster of entertainment in the way of JK Rowling and Rick Riordan. ~ Penny Brein

Fast paced adventure through and through
Written for middle school aged students, this book is action-packed from the beginning and will hold the attention of young readers. Not only that, as an adult reader, it was hard to put down, so parents will enjoy it as an easy read. ~ bluejellybean

Kids will love it!
Not only will kids love it, adults will too! I don't want to give the plot away but this is a book worth reading. This book is creatively written drawing in the reader to be a participant in the story. There is lots of action with enough blood and guts to be interesting without being gross. Girls will like it too with the strong female role models and the hint of romance. Even though this is a children's book, I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be adding this to my classroom library. I am looking forward to reading the book in this series and sharing it with my students. Awesome book! ~ pixiep


Purchase


Book Trailer




WARNING

Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
     But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
     First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
     You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.
     I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.
     This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.
     But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.
     Make sure you understand what I’m saying.
     If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.
     And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.
     So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.
     Ever.
     Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.
     See you on the other side.
     If you’re brave enough.


Tour Schedule






Book Blast $50 Giveaway
Ends 2/15/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - daynight by Megan Thomason & Blog Tour & Giveaway

daynight by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.


daynight will be FREE from Jan 21 - Jan 23


Purchase

Praise

“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)

“The writing is impressive and the story is a real page-turner. So many twists and turns… I’m hooked… I can’t wait for the next installment to come out…4.5 out of 5 stars”—Self-Publishing Review

“Delicious humor, intelligence, and sparkling dialogue” —Amazon reviewer

“Strangely brilliant and imaginative”—Amazon reviewer

“Grips you from the first page and keeps you wanting more”—Amazon reviewer

“Plot twists kept me reading till late at night”—Amazon reviewer

“Every page a thrilling experience”—Amazon reviewer

“Hooked from the first chapter and could not put it down”—Amazon reviewer

“It's like a CW fantasy TV show in a book with a really interesting environment.”—Amazon reviewer

“I'm a little tired of dystopian novels, but Daynight has a unique and fresh story line that didn't have any trouble keeping my interest.”—Amazon reviewer



Author Megan Thomason

Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.









Tour Schedule




Book Blast Giveaway
$75 Amazon Gift Card
Apple Earbuds ($30 Value)
Ends 2/3/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl & Giveaway

Starflower

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?



Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Christian Book


Excerpt
The Kiss by the River:
The girl did not stir when Eanrin lifted her into his arms; her sleep was profound indeed. Her head lolled over his arm, and he was obliged to part her thick hair to uncover her face. It was an uncommonly beautiful face for a mortal.
However, this girl’s beauty was different from any he had ever before seen. For one thing, her skin was rich dark brown, and her hair glossy black. For another, she was imperfect. Her teeth, visible between gently parted lips, were a little crooked. Mud stained her skin, making it darker still, and her brow, even in sleep, was puckered with anxiety or fear. Her dreams must be wicked indeed.
Eanrin grimaced at the sight and almost put her down again. After all, a princess with dreams like those probably had a tale of woe to match. She would certainly wake with expectations of a handsome hero to aid her. As far as Eanrin was concerned, a dash of heroism was one thing, but commitment to a cause? Never. Rushing off to the rescue of Lady Gleamdren was different, for he had determined that she must be his wife and the sole inspiration to his life’s work. Besides, he loved her.
This creature meant nothing to him.
But blood oozed from the abrasions on her wrists. And her body, mortal and vulnerable, lay in his arms. Eanrin rolled his eyes heavenward as though to seek some holy aid. Then he braced himself and wiped the mud off her lips with the edge of his cloak. She frowned in her sleep and stirred, but did not wake.
“Nothing for it,” he muttered. Closing his eyes and trying not to smell her any more than he must, he leaned in and kissed her . . .


Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.





Blog Tour Schedule





BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/31/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Goodies: My Birthday Giveaway!!


Well, it is officially 3 weeks after Christmas and as you can obviously read from the title of this post, it's my BIRTHDAY! Woot woot! Yup it IS TODAY! A year older, and hopefully a year wiser.


AND I wanted to celebrate with all of you, with a giveaway of course! Just a mini one though, since I still can't afford big gifts. Christmas does hurt those purse strings pretty badly but oh well, I've got another year (almost) to prepare for that again.

Firstly, I want to share with you some of the loveliest books that I was introduced to, and LOVED, last year. Just bear with me a little bit will ya. We will get to the giveaway in due time.



































Thanks for staying with me so far. Here's my little offering, to help YOU get something you really want! Because birthdays don't always have to be about things you need. It's a day just for you, so you can do what ever you want...like buying something you WANT!

 And I will be sending you an e-code so please check your email address carefully!
You've got 2 months time to get your entries in. They're really easy, only 1 is mandatory, you can do 1 once a day, and another that you can get entries for if you join my other Giveaways!

So let's bring on the giveaway! Enjoy and have fun everyone.




Monday, January 14, 2013

Giveaway Goodies: Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop




3rd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop 
January 18th to 24th

Welcome to my first Giveaway Hop of 2013! Glad to see you here. I hope you'll find something you like on this stop. I'm posting early as I won't be around when this is supposed to go up.


I want to give some of my books a new home. Yes, these are from my bookshelf. This is part of my personal "secret" 2013 resolution...to give some books new homes as I am seriously running out of space! So I hope you'll help me and be that person.

 















Other Choice:
Megabest Jokes - VJ Times

P.S. Covers may not be as shown above. Please click for summaries. Some of the books have yellowed pages or spotting but are still in readable condition.

Have fun entering!
 

Please hop over to the other giveaways when you're done here!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock & Giveaway




Alaina Claiborne

How far would you go to avenge your family and save the one you love?

In nineteenth-century England, Alaina Claiborne had a loving family, a cherished friend, and devoted servants. She spent her days riding across the grassy hills of the English countryside, joyful and at peace.

Then tragedy strikes and her world is forever changed. Searching for those responsible is her only focus . . . until she meets Tristan.

Tristan Sheffield, a man of many talents, searches out those who don’t want to be found. His past is filled with secrets and deeds he would rather leave deeply buried. However, when his life unexpectedly entwines with Alaina's, he soon discovers they share more than a mutual desire to catch a murderer.

On their hunt for a man driven by greed, Tristan and Alaina find that love is the greatest weapon against evil, and they'll stop at nothing to survive.


Purchase Now on 


Enjoy Excerpts from Alaina Claiborne
(Excerpts may or may not be in the order in which they appear, and may differ slightly from the final book.)

Excerpt One: 

   Tristan had spent months negotiating with the lord, who decided to hold out for all he could the moment he realized who was interested in the property. Apparently, Lord Melbourne had been so deep in debt that he had no choice but to sell off his ancestral estate. Tristan knew a desperate man when he saw one and Lord Melbourne had been desperate. He eventually yielded to Tristan’s way of thinking and settled on a fair price. Tristan was happy to be rid of the man and even more pleased to find the daughter of Melbourne’s deceased neighbor in his own backyard. Tristan studied the object of his thoughts for a moment longer, trying to catch another glimpse of those revealing eyes. She declined to look at him, but he wanted a reaction from her—any kind of reaction would please him.

   “It seems we will be neighbors.” He realized he had blundered when her spine stiffened and she turned toward him. Anger marred her lovely face, and he guessed she likely suffered from temper when the mood struck, as it seemed to be doing now.

   “You, sir, may now own this property, but I assure you we will be neighbors in no other way except that we share a border. I see no reason why we should ever meet again.” With her back stiff and head held high, she turned to her impressively large stallion and mounted with surprising ease, her riding habit no hindrance to her. He wondered if she rode with as much confidence as she showed him right now—he thought she probably did.

   “There is no reason why we can’t be civil to one another, Alaina. After all, I now own half of your favorite lake.” He couldn’t seem to stop saying all of the wrong things, but he was enjoying himself. She stared down at him from her elevated height and looked him over with a mixture of what he thought to be disgust and perhaps admiration. But there was only anger behind her next words.

   “I have plenty of ponds on my own property.”

   “Then why are you here?”

   “That, sir, is none of your business.” She turned the horse, spurred him forward, and once she broke through the trees, she sent the horse into a suicidal run, one which she surprisingly had complete control over. Tristan followed her with his eyes until she rode over the hill and out of sight.

   “Interesting,” he murmured. “A most interesting woman.” He turned to his horse and stroked his muzzle. “What do you think, Admiral?”

   The horse whinnied and nodded his head. “I agree, old boy,” he murmured and his gaze returned to the hill where she had been moments before. “I agree.” Tristan mounted his horse with equal ease and turned to continue the inspection of his property.

Excerpt Two: 

     Across the acres, darkness enveloped Alaina, her surroundings illuminated by the flickering flame of a lamp. She moved around in the attic, searching through trunks of the items that had come from her mother’s cottage in Ireland. It was difficult to see so many memories reminding her of her parents, but she also found it calmed her. She had avoided these things since they had been delivered years ago, but now her fears became secondary. She hoped something from her parents’ past might shed light on what was happening in the present. Alaina rummaged through a trunk of some of her mother’s clothes, pulling them out and smelling them, hoping for a faint whiff of the soft rose scent her mother used to wear. There was something lingering around the old clothes, and it took Alaina back to a time when she was a little girl. Nevertheless, the memory ended there. She paused for a moment, as if the scent reminded her of something else besides her mother. She subsequently released the memory when she saw the bottom of the trunk was not as deep as it should have been. She pulled out the remaining dress and ran her fingers along the bottom and edges. She next looked on the outside of the trunk. Nearly six inches of extra space remained near the bottom on the inside.

     Alaina felt along the inside edges and became excited when she found a gap. Slowly reaching her fingers into the hole, she simultaneously pushed down on the other edge for leverage and surprised herself when the bottom tilted to reveal the extra space beneath. Removing the thin board, she set it aside and gasped when she turned back to the trunk.

     “Oh, Mother. What did you do?”

Book Trailer




Author MK McClintock

MK McClintock is an entrepreneur, baker, photographer, and multi-genre author.

Over the years MK McClintock has traveled the country and abroad, experiencing the beauty of other lands and cultures. She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher, and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, McClintock will always call Montana home.

MK McClintock is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, and Women Writing the West.




BookBlast $50 Giveaway
Ends 1/22/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Gracier by Milissa Bailey & Giveaway

Gracier by Milissa R. Bailey

Everyone around her knows. Everyone she trusts has lied. And the one man who held the key to Jessica McCabe’s past is dead.

Welcome to Gracier, Iowa, a well-kept community with even better kept secrets. Lives are peaceful, streets are quiet, but behind the tranquility is many a tale to be told. Veterinarian Jessica McCabe has returned, but it is not the homecoming she had expected. Her grandfather, Jonas McCabe and Gracier’s longtime vet has died, leaving behind the practice they had hoped to share.

The reading of Jonas’ will sets off a series of events that bring into question Jessica’s birthright, the truth surrounding her mother’s untimely death and her grandfather’s sanity. With her world turned upside down she is thrown into a partnership with Matthew Cassidy, the man who chose his family’s wealth over Jessica’s love.

Her determined spirit leads Jessica to stay, continue the veterinarian practice and return to the life and the community she loves. But a secret loft and a box filled with a hidden past change the course of her life once again.

Longtime family friends, Dr. Andrew Harrison and retired Sheriff Chester Caughlin know the truth. A promise made to a dear old friend to protect the girl they helped raise is one they intend to keep. But the wheels of fate have been put in motion. The people entrusted with protecting Jessica from the past are losing control. The small town of Gracier, Iowa holds many secrets and those who have kept the truth hidden are about to discover that not everything has been laid to rest.


Book Trailer



Praise

"Milissa Bailey has set the perfect stage for the next book in the series with her intriguing characters that are as unpredictable as an Iowa tornado and as genuine as the county fair. The labyrinth of their lives makes you want to learn more about the secrets of Gracier".  - D. Bahrenfuss - Editor

"I was pulled in with the depth of this story and couldn't stop myself from finishing the second half in one sitting. GRACIER is a beautiful reminder of all that is important in life. Bailey has a wonderful gift and I hope she will continue to "breathe"!"
--Leisa Anslinger, author of Forming Generous Hearts, Here Comes Everybody

"...think Jennifer Chiaverini or Jan Karon" - Burlington by the Book

“It was one of those books that I stayed up late reading and picked back up the minute I woke up! ” -Mari Kait

"Milissa Bailey's depiction of small town Iowa is both charming and mysterious--the perfect combination to captivate readers." -C.G.Reader

“Add to that a group of supporting characters you can't help but love. Gracier is a must read.” -Shari

 "I couldn't put the book down...can't wait for book #2!!!!" -RJW



Purchase



Author Milissa Bailey

Milissa Bailey grew up among the rolling fields of rural Iowa, where she continues to live with her husband, and three children. In her debut novel she draws upon her rich knowledge of the Midwest as she welcomes us to Gracier, Iowa, a well-kept community with even better kept secrets. Readers are introduced to a cast of characters they will come to know, love and hate. Vivid descriptions, palatable anguish, forbidden romance and touches of humor lend itself to the stories weaved in this idyllic setting. The small town of Gracier holds many secrets and those who have kept the truth hidden are about to discover that not everything has been laid to rest.

Milissa, along with her husband, own a marketing firm located in Iowa. She is currently at work on the second book in the Gracier series.




Author Interview

>

$100 BookBlast Giveaway (starts January 9th)

Ends 1/20/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Bookworm: Book Blast - Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester

Goodnight, Brian

Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.




Read an Excerpt from the Book

Enough time had passed for the shock of Brian’s condition to wear off. Joan had stumbled beyond the grieving process and had given up negotiating with God. She was now at a place called rage. Mama sat with her daughter at the kitchen table, trying to help her make sense of it all. “Maybe Brian’s a test from God?” Mama suggested. “Why would God test a little baby who’s never done a thing wrong? Why would He test an innocent child?” Joan snapped back. Mama shook her head. “I didn’t say God was testing Brian,” she said evenly. There was a thoughtful pause. “Maybe He’s testing everyone around Brian?” “I don’t want to hear that!” Joan roared. “My son will never be able to enjoy the life of other people who don’t…” Mama slapped her hand on the Formica table, stopping Joan in mid-sentence and turning her face into that of a seven-year-old girl’s. “Not another negative word, do you hear me?” she yelled back, quickly grabbing her daughter’s hands and holding them tightly. “Positive, Joan – everything must be positive! Negative calls for negative and positive brings forth positive. Brian’s already facing some unfair challenges. We have to be positive, Joan. We just have to be!” Joan wiped her eyes. “But what if the doctor’s right, Ma?” she muttered in a tortured voice. “What if…”Without letting Joan’s hands go, Mama took a deep breath and started in on her own tirade. “The doctors don’t know what the hell they’re talking about! I had a grandmother who lived her whole life as a brittle diabetic, but she ate anything she wanted. She died three days before her eighty-fifth birthday. Your grandfather supposedly had cirrhosis of the liver, but lived with his bottle for forty more years until old age took him. They don’t know beans! Besides, we need to have faith in a higher source.” She pulled her crucifix away from her neck and kissed it. “You have to believe, Joan. Before any of the healing can take place, you have to believe that it will.” She nodded and lowered her tone. “Only God knows how… and that’s enough.” Joan placed her face in her hands and began to cry. She was now completely removed from her rage and safely returned to the stage of grief. “I’m…just… so…scared,” she stuttered, sobbing. Mama stroked her hair. “Don’t you worry, love. They say that children are raised by a village.” She nodded her gray, curly head. “I think it’s about time we had a village meeting.”


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Early Praise:
Steven Manchester has a gift for expressing through his writing the complicated and transcendent beauty of the human experience with poignant clarity.”
– Yolanda King, eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King

Steven Manchester’s Goodnight, Brian is a poignant, inspiring story about resilience and faith and one family’s enduring love that should be a model for us all.”

– James S. Hirsch, bestselling author, Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

Steven has once again proven his deep insight into human emotions and relations and his ability to craft a well written and entertaining story that also has the power to inspire courage and hope. Goodnight, Brian is a fine read.” 

– Bob Price, WPZZ Radio Personality



Author Steven Manchester
Steven Manchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian). He is also the Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.


Links


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Bookworm: Escucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nuñez Tour Stop, Top Ten List & Giveaway



From the mowing of the lawn to the splish-splashing of rain puddles, Talia Aikens-Nuñez’s bilingual picture book Escucha Means Listen introduces toddlers and babies to the sweet sounds around them.

Take a journey through the world—just listening. Escucha Means Listen helps children discover sounds around them in English and Spanish.










Excerpt
Buzz. Buzz. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las abejas (The bees) circling the flowers.

Woosh. Woosh. What do you hear?
El viento (The wind) is whistling by.

Shh. Shh. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las hojas (The leaves) are dancing on the trees.


In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)
A good book for young beginners to reading and also to the Spanish language.


My Thoughts
The book is really easy to go through. It just takes a few minutes, as a good children's book should. Not knowing any Spanish at all, except for what I come across on TV, this was a lovely little way to learn a few words. The book is mostly filled page to page with illustrations and very minimal text, perfect for those impatient toddlers who can't sit still for more than those few given minutes. The illustrations by Dina Ashraf Helmi are pretty well done and very colourful so as to capture those little minds. Everything is big and bright and reminiscent of my own watercolouring day. This book is a great way for parents to bond with their children while teaching them about nature and language.


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I was also given the chance to ask Talia a question which was Top Ten Things That Inspire Your Work On A Daily Basis. Authors get inspiration from everything around them so I wanted to know what inspired Talia!

Her lovely answers were:

The first five are more about my broad based inspiration and the last 5 are more of the nuts and bolts...hope that makes sense. I should also note that I live in Connecticut and have a Pre-K child. I may be answering this differently because of that right now:

1. Love because it keeps me moving.
2. Hope because it keeps me dreaming.
3. Smiles because they keep me happy.
4. Laughter because it gives me joy.
5. My family because they give me all of the above.
6. Quiet because it makes me listen.
7. Being with nature because it allows me to understand true beauty.
8. Work because it keeps my mind active.
9. Meetings because they make me feel productive.
10. Completion of tasks because crossing things off my 'To Do' List is so satisfying.

Number 6 was perfect for this book as it was all about listening to nature and the things around you. Loved her answers!




Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. These ‘first experience’ books introduce Spanish to children and parents too! Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She, her husband and daughter live on a river in Connecticut with their daughter Isabella.



Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/21/12

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.