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B.K. Walker's Guest Post and Giveaway!!! (International)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For the giveaway, leave a comment for B.K. as well as your email.  GFC subscribers get an extra entry.  Thank you very much for stopping by!  This contest is for TWO Ebooks of Night Secrets, INTERNATIONAL.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today Krystal. Romancing Your Dark Side Tour has been so much fun and we've all been meeting some great people along the way.

Today I'm going to give you the top ten reasons to read Night Secrets, but first I'd like to just tell you that if I won't read my work and enjoy it after it's complete, then you will never see it. I never write anything I wouldn't read myself, and after I finish a story, I let it sit, never looking at it for several months. After it's had its fermentation period, I go back and re-read the story. If it excites me, like Night Secrets did, then it will hit the bookstores. When I can read my own story and not want to put it down until I've finished it, then I know that readers loving this genre will also enjoy it.

Top Ten Reasons Readers Should Get Their Hands On Night Secrets   

10.  It doesn't end with book 1.

9.  Very relateable characters.

8.  Potential love triangles.

7.  Deep tension and unexpected...shall we say...shifts.

6.  Steamy sex scenes.

5.  Action. Action. Action.

4.  Hot Vampires.

3.  Sexy Werewolves.

2. Love is in the air (*wink wink*).

1. A varied paranormal mix, throwing in more supernatural creatures than you've probably ever seen in one book. My own surprising twists and turns adding mystery to the paranormal plot.

If that isn't enough, here are some reader thoughts on Night Secrets....

BK has certainly created a world of her own in Night Secerts. New aspects added to the word shapeshifters, unique of its own and paranormal elements within the read.~Kat at Page Flipperz

I think I have read almost all of her books and I am always waiting for more. Once again she did not disappoint. When I started reading Night Secrets I didn't want to put it down.~Book Reader Addicts

BK Walker just keeps getting better and better. I love all the characters and their development.~Jennifer Bonges

I found BK Walker once again writing a nail biting page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed how she made the 'creatures' in this book have to work together if they are to save Keara's life.~Reviewers Helping Authors

Vampires, werewolfs, shapeshifters and fairies....OH MY!!!! Love the storyline. Love the characters. A definate must read! ~Emily Miller

B.K.‘s storytelling is vivid and I could see through her imagrey what she wanted me to see. I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait to see what she had next! ~Carrie Ann Ryan

Find BK Walker:

Facebook -

Twitter - @bk36

BK Bio:

BK Walker currently lives in Central Pennsylvania with her three children, Brittney, Hunter and Danny, her dogs Rancid, Sadie and Haven, a cat named Whiskers and a goldfish named Fat Albert. She has always had a love for reading and writing, even as a child she created stories reading them to her stuffed animals. With a love for vampires and werewolves, you will not be disappointed with her writing as she mixes up the paranormal juice. Aside from writing, BK also supports Indie Authors organizing virtual book tours, helping them to market and promote their work. Her book review site, BWB Reviews, is just another small way she contributes to the reading world. With many stories floating around in her head, she writes when she gets the time between working as a Pediatric Home Care Nurse, being a single mother, and continuing her college education in Graphic Art Design. When BK's not fighting with her muse, Mouthy Mary, who has much to say way too often, you will find her at a baseball game with her children, or relaxing with a good book in her hand.

Night Secrets Blurb:

Keara Crosby had the perfect life. Her family was not hurting for anything. When her parents are suddenly killed, Keara must learn to live without them. After mourning their death for two months, Keara starts to live again. She follows her favorite band, hangs with her best friend Jared, and falls for the new kid on the block.

When her favorite band is playing at Night Secrets, a new club downtown, she takes her first outing since her parents death and finds this mysterious boy watching her. Mesmerized by his lapus blue eyes, she can't help but feel drawn to him. Her body responds to him in ways she never thought possible, and she needs to figure out why. What is it about Channing that has her yearning for his touch?

Not only is Keara drawn to Channing, but the owner of Night Secrets seems to be drawn to her. Giving her special treatment, she can't help but wonder what he's hiding, and the sense she's seen him before. When she's attacked in the parking lot, her world turns inside out, literally. Keara will soon learn that secrets of the night, just may be the death of her.


     I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or not. I was standing

in front of a manmade lake, it was completely dark. I was

half expecting Dante’ to come out of the darkness and try

to kill me. What I saw though is not what I was expecting.

The light started small and could be seen across the

lake. It was like a flicker from a candle with an orange -

yellow glow. As it grew brighter, I realized something was

moving towards me.

     I squinted my eyes at the intensity of the brightness.

Suddenly the light dimmed and standing before me,

floating on top of the water was a beautiful woman. She

wore a long white gown with lace at the end of the

sleeves. Her hair was a beautiful shade of chestnut and

flowed down her back like a blanket draped over a horse.

The shine made me want to touch it to see how soft it

was. Her eyes were as green as emeralds, and they

were looking right at me.

     I was so overcome by her beauty, I didn’t even realize

she was staring at me. Just as the thought to run came

through my mind….

     “Fear not child. I will not harm you.”

     My heart raced, but my feet held their ground.

     “I have a message for you young Keara.” As she

spoke her voice echoed ever so slightly giving her words

an eery effect. She floated closer to where I was

standing. “I am Morrigan. The Great Goddess Morrigan.

I have many names, though I believe you were told I am

Morgan Le Fay.”

     I felt my heart spiral up to my throat at an accelerated

speed. I felt like I might choke.

     “I am your queen child. I am here to give you

guidance. You have been faced with the most evil

creature there is in your time. He wants your blood young

Keara. There are many things you don’t know about

yourself. Things you must learn in order to beat this evil

force that is upon you.

     “You are a shifter. The change hasn’t happened yet,

but the next time it starts, you mustn’t fight it. Allow it to

complete. Only then will you gain access to the powers

that are within.”

     “It hurts though. I don’t want to shift. I’m not sure I

want to be a shifter.”

     “Silence!” She screamed with a fierceness I have

never heard, her voice echoing in the night and the

glowing light around her emanating brighter.

     I dropped to my knees and buried my head in my

hands. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, I just

knew I didn’t like her yelling like that. Why was this

happening to me?

     “Young Keara, it is in your blood. There is no choice

in the matter. I too am a shifter. We are of the same

mother. We cannot fight what we are meant to be.”

“What do you mean we are of the same mother?”

“We share the same blood lines child. The same

heritage. What is of me, is of you as well. If you allow

them to come through, you have powers that will help

you. You the Fae and a shifter. The powers you hold

within will make you a force to fear.

     “You must defeat this evil. The only way to do that is to

unleash what is inside of you. Trust what your instincts

are telling you. Trust who is there to help you as well.”

Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty Review and Paperback Giveaway!!! (International too for Ebook Copies)

Share a journey from traditional religious teaching into a deeper spiritual relationship as the narrator chronicles the experiences of his path on that journey. Beginning with a teenage out-of-body experience on the wrestling mat, and culminating in a breathtaking mystical experience at his father's deathbed, this true story is inspirational and thought-provoking.
The author describes "uncertainty" as a gift and a prerequisite to this journey toward greater spiritual connection. Readers blessed with any doubt regarding the spiritual dimensions of life will be richly rewarded with this story. Readers who have not yet pushed aside the veil of certainty may find within this story a window through which they might grasp the gift of uncertainty.

Goodreads Summary

Neil allows the reader to experience very personal moments with him.  He utilizes the form of "Dear Dad" to express his feelings and emotions as he remains in the ICU with his dying father.  He is going through a process of grieving and letting go.  The reader will realize that Neil has a strong moral character and is a wonderful son.  Neil contemplates the past years, thinking of his experiences, emotions, life lessons....  The reader is very fortunate that Neil is willing to share his innermost thoughts.  The author lays out his thoughts so candidly, that it is hard to question the truth behind his words.  A non-religious reader will not need to worry, the author manages to stay on the spiritual side without touching much of the religious side. 

This book was heartfelt and emotional.  It is a book worth reading at any time in one's life, there are plenty of lessons and thoughts to think over that the reader will take away.  There are so many quotes in this book that the reader will remember and enjoy.  The book is a short read, but that adds to the book's appeal-the author goes right to the point of the matter.  This book is recommended to teen/young adult/adult readers. 

5 Stars

    Neil will giveaway 1 copy of the paperback version of the book to the FIRST person who leaves a comment on this review along with their email address.
EBOOK GIVEAWAY (International)
    Neil will giveaway a copy of the ebook version of the book (in the format of their choice) to EVERY person who leaves a comment on this review along with their email address during the month of September.

All entrants will automatically be subscribed to Neil Hanson's email newsletter. Contact information is NEVER shared, and subscribers can unsubscribe at any time.

Blog Tour web site:

      Neil Hanson's website:
Neil Hanson's Facebook:
      Neil Hanson's Twitter:

Neil Hanson's blog:

  Neil Hanson's Bio:
 Neil Hanson lives and works in Colorado. Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty is his first book. He blogs actively and writes articles for periodicals. He is an avid outdoorsman, passionate about hunting and fishing. He spends a great deal of time bicycling    the roads and trails of Colorado, and backcountry skiing in winter.  His passion for gardening spills over into a joint venture with his oldest son, where they operate a landscaping and construction company in Colorado.
Book Description:
    In this story told in the first-person form of a letter from a middle-aged man to his deceased father, Hanson invites us to journey with him through the final days of the father’s life, finding a magical transition waiting at the end of that journey. The story    weaves end-of-life reality and spiritual questioning into a sensitive and revealing tapestry of Truth and Wisdom. The tapestry is colored with true stories of mystical experiences that inform the spiritual path of the son.
    Most of us will face difficult and painful end-of-life decisions with the most important people in our lives. The threads of this aspect of the story are sensitive, and Hanson reveals the struggles and destinations of the son as he wrestles deeply with the journey    that he must walk in making these decisions for his dying father.
    Price: $17.95
    ISBN: 9780982639108
    Pages: 132
    Release: May 2010
Paperback buy links:
Barnes and Noble
Ebook buy links:
Kindle $2.99
Nook - $2.99
Smashwords - $2.99

Silently Loved by Annie Lee

Hailey takes the reader right into the middle of the action.  She is the wife to an abusive husband; the reader roots for her throughout the novel.  She finally decides to take her life into her own hands and runs.  Reese, her best friend, aids her.  She becomes a sigh language teacher and is able to feel truly good about herself again.  She lives on a small rental property on the edge of a farm.  The owner of the farm is handsome, charismatic, and protective.  She is drawn to him.  The action begins right after their connection is made.

Hailey is a fun character to read about.  She is also a sympathetic character, abused by someone who is supposed to love her.  The handsome love interest is portrayed as the opposite of her husband.  Can Hailey let go of the past and learn to live and love again?

The events in this book are fairly fast-paced, the author is as detailed as she was in her first book.  The ending is sweet and expected.  This book is recommended to adults who enjoy a romance with second chances. 

4 Stars

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes

When North American kids picture a school, odds are they see rows of desks, stacks of textbooks, and linoleum hallways. They probably don’t picture caves, boats, or train platforms — but there are schools in caves, and on boats and on train platforms. There’s a whole world of unusual schools out there!
But the most amazing thing about these schools isn’t their location or what they look like. It’s that they provide a place for students who face some of the toughest environmental and cultural challenges, and live some of the most unique lifestyles, to learn. Education is not readily available for kids everywhere, and many communities are strapped for the resources that would make it easier for kids to go to school. In short, it’s not always easy getting kids off to class — but people around the world are finding creative ways to do it.
In Off to Class, readers will travel to dozens of countries to visit some of these incredible schools, and, through personal interviews, meet the students who attend them, too. And their stories aren't just inspiring — they'll also get kids to think about school and the world in a whole new way.

Goodreads Summary

This book is perfect for readers of all ages who wish to learn more about the world around them.  This book focuses on education, particularly in those parts of the world where education is forgotten and/or too expensive.  A map is included of the world with the schools that were detailed in the book, making it easier for a reader to picture.  The pictures in the book are real, they add immensely to the readers' understanding. 

The first page in the book includes a few paragraphs highlighting "Education is For Everyone."  The book's purpose is to enlighten the reader to other schools around the world, especially the more uncommon ones, and to promote the idea that every single person on this planet deserves a good education.  The reader will enjoy the factual writing the author utilizes to detail the different schools in the many different locations.  The book has quite a few happy outcomes from schools started and educations given.  Traditions and cultures are acknowledged and the reader becomes acquainted with them.  There is just the right amount of knowledge incorporated in this book so as not to overwhelm the reader and to leave a lasting impression.  This book is wonderful for readers of all ages.

5 Stars

The Beads of Lapis Lazuli by Doris Kenney Marcotte

Before She Can Finish Writing Her Novel, One Ordinary Woman Must Solve a 3,500-Year-Old Mystery
Katheryn Marshall is just an everyday Cincinnati housewife and mother-until she purchases an ancient strand of lapis lazuli beads on holiday in Crete. That's the start of a two-year obsession with ancient Minoan civilization, culminating in an unfinished novel about the culture's greatest mystery of love and desertion. But as she delves deeper into the myth, Katheryn finds holes in the story that she refuses to accept, preventing her from completing the book. And what happens next could rewrite history-even as it stretches her marriage to the breaking point.
Now, against the vehement wishes of all those around her, Katheryn is about to drop everything to embark on a fact-finding mission that will take her to a deserted island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Along for the ride is Jake Deupree, a renowned psychic who helps archeologists locate important excavations. But as they hone in on their goal, it's Katheryn who experiences odd premonitions. And neither of them is prepared for what their mission will uncover-and what it will uncover about themselves.
The Beads of Lapis Lazuli is part mystery, part psychological drama as it mixes history, obsession, and the paranormal for an exhilarating read. Bridging time and space, it is about seeking truth and taking control of our lives. And it is about discovering the unknown strength within us-that housewives can also be heroes and adventurers-as we write our own personal stories.

Goodreads Summary

Katheryn is one of those rare characters who literally focuses on her obsession throughout the book.  She is an intriguing character, her intense focus on the Minoan civilization may even make the reader feel as if he/she should know more about the ancient civilization.  She is single-minded and tenacious; those qualities serve to make her a terrific character for a mystery novel.  After purchasing lapis lazuli beads when on a vacation, Katheryn decides to look into the beads' background and culture-launching her fascination.  She goes so far as to write a book about the subject; however, she cannot adequately finish the book, there is a gaping hole that she must fill.  Even with her marriage sliding towards the breaking point, she still finds that she must go and find the last few pieces of information to finish her book.  This is where the story really takes off.

Katheryn, as mentioned above, is a very interesting character.  Not many characters write a book based off of ancient Minoan civilization.  The secondary characters are just as intriguing to get acquainted with.  The events are fast-paced, particularly towards the middle of the story.  The ending is a little bit of a surprise, but perfect for this novel.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

4 Stars

4 Stars

Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts by Claire LaZebnik

Despite her name, Keats Sedlak is the sanest person in her large, nutty family of brilliant eccentrics. Her parents, both brainy academics, are barely capable of looking after themselves, let alone anyone else, and her two uber-intelligent siblings live on their own planets. At least she can count on one person in her life, her devoted boyfriend Tom. Down-to-earth and loving, he's the one thing that's kept Keats grounded for the last decade. But when Keats's mother makes a surprise announcement, the entire family is sent into a tailspin. For the first time, Keats can't pick up the pieces by herself. Now she must re-evaluate everything she's ever assumed about herself and her family - and make the biggest decision of her life.

Goodreads Summary

Keats is one of those characters that the reader will just love reading about and feel as if she is a close friend.  Keats holds nothing back to the reader, her true thoughts and decisions are laid bare.  She has always considered herself to be the normal one in her rather oddly intelligent family.  Little does she know that she has a special kind of quality about her as well, she draws people to her-a characteristic evident to the reader.  Her sister, Hopkins, is brilliant with a capital B.  Hopkins has skipped grades in school and finished both college and medical school shockingly early; however, she lacks social skills and empathy.  Milton is also brilliant, though he is extremely introverted and timid.  Keats connects with him during the book to try to help him out of his shell. 

The book itself concerns the shifting of relationships and the realization that one is not getting what one wants from life, change is necessary.  Keats is almost engaged to her much older boyfriend of ten years, she begins to feel like the relationship is in a rut.  Jacob, a family friend, is always there for Keats and her family-he becomes part of a love triangle during the book.  Keats' mother decides that she has had enough, she wants to divorce Keats' father.  Hopkins is...Hopkins, and Milton needs serious change.  The book is very fun to read, the author manages to insert and make clear several life lessons as well.

The characters all have a depth to them, particularly Keats, that makes them appear real to the reader.  The events are fast-paced and will not leave the reader in the lurch.  The ending is perfect for the novel, realistic even.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

The Santa Club by Kelly Moss

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A delightful book with captivating illustrations, The Santa Club transitions your child from receiving gifts to experiencing the joy of giving. With sensitivity, faith, and love, The Santa Club tackles the serious question, "Is Santa Claus Real?" To be read with your child, this wonderful book not only answers that sometimes "dreaded" question but it also addresses the questions of why Santa comes at Christmas and who was the first Santa. The Santa Club is a wonderful parenting resource and a stunning children's book, and is sure to become an annual family favorite.

Goodreads Summary

This book is perfect for children asking about the real Santa.  The book even contains a little warning at the very beginning, stating that the child must be wondering about Santa and must not reveal the knowledge that lays beyond the first few pages.  Children are naturally curious and this book answers just the right amount of a child's query without disclosing too much.  The illustrations are vibrant and fun, a touch realistic while still being bold and imaginative-really holds a child's attention. 

The book will emphatically tell the child, "Yes," there is a Santa.  Santa is described as having existed long ago, inspiring others to become Santas as well.  There is also a couple of mentions of Jesus and God.  The book does not push the author's view, the child may decide for him/herself.  The author adds a wonderful touch towards the end of the book by inducting the child into the Santa Club, a Club geared towards generosity.  This is a wonderful book for children and their parents, especially around Christmastime.

5 Stars

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Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.

Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.

Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.

Goodreads Summary

This book is a must-read for dystopian readers.  Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are the main characters.  The novel is told from their view point.  Each experience odd occurrences right when the earthquakes occur, literally shaking their world upside down. 

The main characters appear unaffected by this pervading rage that infects much of the population.  There are people attacking others in horrible ways, to the death.  The author captures the hatred from these people and can really make the reader feel it.  There is a sense of doom in the novel, aided by the evil "Nothing" that shows up to speak its say.  Nothing is supposed to be the evil that is, perhaps, influencing all of these people to forget societal norms and turn into marauding killers. 

The main characters would never have met in real life had this evil not occurred.  They each have differing qualities and quirks that are likely to allow a reader to choose at least one character he/she feels he/she likes the most.  The events are incredibly fast-paced, the reader can't put this novel down before another brutal attack occurs.  The ending is somewhat frustrating, a bit of a cliff-hanger.  The only other negative in this book would be that, at times, it was hard to follow four different point of views.  This book is recommended to readers who enjoy dystopian novels.

4 Stars

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Airborne by Constance Sharper

Monday, August 29, 2011

Avery knew she had a knack for attracting trouble, but even she is shocked when a six-foot-something harpie shows up on her doorstep. Coping with the existence of a mythological race? Okay. Unwittingly finding herself in the middle of a vicious harpie conflict? A little less okay. Having to rely on an arrogant harpie boy who gets under her skin? Now that is something Avery isn't sure she can handle.

Goodreads Summary

Avery will capture the readers' attention.  She is funny, somewhat abrasive, caring, and intelligent.  The setting is in Alaska, a very different setting that a reader is not likely to find in many, if any, other books.  The setting sets the scene for a pervading sense of danger, the reader will feel a sense of urgency while reading. 

Then there are the harpies.  Harpies are creatures, male and female, who are not friendly to humans and are quick to anger.  Avery encounters her first harpy, Mason, when she is accosted by him.  He demands to know where a special pendant is and threatens her several times.  Avery handles it fairly well, considering the situation.  The reader will find out that the pendant may actually be part of Avery, making her a prime target for the other Harpies. 

The reader will meet many other Harpies much to Avery's chagrin.  Each Harpy in the book has a unique quality and/or quirk that will make him/her memorable.  Mason, for instance, becomes the potential love interest-a tabboo among his kind.  He can be protective, caring, and thoughtful when he isn't flying off the handle at something Avery did or said AGAIN. 

This book was very fast-paced, filled with exciting scenes and plenty of action, had a very unusual plot, and provided the reader with the perfect cliff-hanger to make the reader instantly mark "Grounded", the sequel, as a to-read.  This book would be terrific for those who enjoy fantasy with a touch of romance and mystery. 

5 Stars

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Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Goodreads Summary

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Revelations by Sandy Cohen

Travel along with Manny Markovitz and his guide, Abis -- part Native American, part madman -- as they take you on a wild, always funny, sometimes poignant journey from the wilds of Greece to the bogs and barrier islands of south Georgia, USA in search for Abis's boss, Willy Love. Enter with them into a world of imagination, wild adventure and absolute delight as Manny wakens back to life and love after a great personal tragedy. Perhaps you will, too. Critic Erwin Ford calls Revelations "a Candide for the 21st century." PRAISE FOR SANDY COHEN AND REVELATIONS: "I love it! And I'm jealous. . . you're quite a writer. Such pure, unadorned dialect; good strong story. Your characters live." -- Janice Daugharty, author of Earl in the Yellow Shirt (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) "Moving . . . powerful. . . ." -- Elizabeth S. Morgan "A fine prose-poem." -Wayne Brown, author of On the Coast (winner of the Commonwealth Prize)

Goodreads Summary

This was one of the most unique books I have ever read.  The characters all have their own quirks and traits that are very memorable and distinct.  The reader will connect to Manny and Abis and will enjoy following their story as they search for Manny's boss, Willy Love.  Along the way, the characters forget about their "normal lives" and turn to, perhaps, their natural selves-without society interfering.  This occurrence brings about many humorous, contemplative, and intriguing scenes. 

Abis is the character who gets Manny to loosen up and relax.  He is the trickster, the funny one, and the one who serves a double purpose-comedic relief and to get the other character to forget about societal norms.  Manny at first appears completely normal...and at the end of the book, he is still normal-perhaps even more so, how he would have been had he not been ingrained with societal rules. 

This book could be considered philosophical, however, if a reader doesn't typically enjoy that type of genre...the book is many other things as well.  There is humor, mystery, adventure, etc... that the reader will also appreciate.  This book is recommended for adults.

4 Stars

The Safehouse by T. Thomas Ackerman

Every nine seconds, a woman becomes a victim of domestic violence in the United States. The laws don't do enough to protect these women and their children from the abuse, which will always escalate. Detective Jessica Warren understands all too well how vulnerable women are in abusive relationships. And she's not going to stand by and watch as innocent victims are injured, or worse. The Safehouse is the story of Jessie Warren and the closely knit network of powerful women who aren't willing to allow abusive men to hide behind inadequate laws. It's the story of the victims she helps, some of whom learn to break out of the patterns holding them trapped. And it's the story of how Jessie navigates the police system with pragmatism, intelligence, and heart to extend a helping hand to women in need. But with all the time and emotional energy she spends helping others, will she be able to maintain her own life balance? And will she be able to outsmart the one member of the police force who doesn't approve of her unorthodox methods? True to life and riveting, The Safehouse will take you on a compelling journey to justice. The author is donating 25% of royalties from this book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Amazon Summary

I was surprised this book can't be found on I added it!  The main character and the plot are the main draws.  Jessie, who is a detective and victim of domestic violence herself, is the main character.  She is brave, kind, caring, and protective.  She embodies all of the qualities one could hope to have in a detective. 

The story is quite literally as the summary reads.  The reader will follow Jessie as she makes quick, intelligent decisions in particularly hard cases.  It is not so easy as separating the abused from the abuser...sometimes, the abused is afraid to say anything or won't leave out of fear.  The situations the author details will force the reader to sit up and pay attention.  The reader will certainly not be bored, he or she will be rooting for Jessie throughout the novel.  There are many intriguing secondary characters in this novel, the reader will enjoy getting to know them better. 

I personally loved Jessie, she was the best part of the book.  A strong female lead in a domestic violence book just...fits perfectly.  The author clearly did plenty of research in order to create the scenes described in this book with such realism.  The ending has a surprising twist.  The reader will be happy she/he picked up this book.  This book is recommended for adult readers who enjoy crime fiction and realistic fiction.

4 Stars

The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek

Sunday, August 28, 2011

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.

Goodreads Summary

This was a surprisingly good novel, not quite your typical romance.  The author actually focuses a good deal more on the main character, Ice, and her potential redemption.  Ice has been paying penance for a long, long time.  She finally decides that it just isn't worth it for the rest of whatever life she has to live.  She decides to sacrifice her life for what she believes will be a worthy cause.  What she doesn't know, is that Turner isn't quite ready to let her go yet...

Ice is an intriguing character to read about.  She's surprisingly hard on herself.  However, she is intelligent, caring, and somewhat calculating.  Turner is handsome, charismatic, and kind.  He's the perfect salve for Ice's open, figurative wounds. 

The events in this novel were fast-paced and fun to read about.  The plot was interesting and the characters, especially Ice, are the main draws to the novel.  This book is recommended to adults.

4 Stars

The Man Who Couldn't Eat by Jon Reiner

In the tradition of The Last Lecture and Three Cups of Tea, and inspired by his much-praised 2009 Esquire article, “The Man Who Couldn’t Eat,” a famed food writer chronicles his battle with Crohn’s disease.
Jon Reiner was middle-aged, happily married with two children, living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and acclimating to his role as primary parent-caregiver when he suffered a near-fatal collapse due to complications from his chronic battle with Crohn’s disease. From that point, he was forbidden from eating food, fed intravenously, and denied the pleasures of taste, which, as an award-winning food writer, had been a central part of his life. In Curb Your Appetite, Reiner reinvents the foodoir, recounting what happens when a man obsessed with food cannot eat, and what happened to his family as a result. Coping with illness, unemployment, and financial ruin spun him into a deep depression, straining his relationship with his wife and children. It was this deprivation, ironically, that forced Jon to recognize what he’d been taking for granted.
Eloquent and powerful, this is one man’s journey from deprivation and despair to ultimately acceptance and appreciation of what is truly important.

Goodreads Summary

The memoir opens with Reiner telling the reader a little bit of background about himself.  He is a glutton in a greyhound's body.  He has to live in a self-imposed exile from many of the foods he enjoys eating.  He lets the reader in on the pain he experiences due to Crohn's.  His own kids must eat healthy due to his fear of passing on the disease to his children compounded by the fact that his wife has diabetes in her family.  He goes on to tell the reality of living with Crohn's disease.  The reader will be taken through a very detailed account, he holds nothing back. 

The memoir is told from Jon's point of view, it really adds to the book.  The opinions of his children, wife, and friends are less subtle, but the are in the book and help the reader to form his/her own opinion on Crohn's from different viewpoints.  The events range from excruciatingly painful (when he is having an attack) to mildly painful (when he attempts to eat light and follows an extremely restrictive diet).  The idea of Crohn's disease is awful to those of us who never experience it, but it is rare to receive a first-hand account; Crohn's will become much more real to the reader.  This memoir is recommended to readers who enjoy nonfiction, reality, diet books. 

4 Stars

SatisFillment: Your Proven Pathway to POWER Action Guide by Eden Sterlington

Baby Boomer generation, listen up! Are you middle aged and feeling increasingly powerless? Why are middle aged men feeling like life is living them, rather than them living their lives? Why are middle aged women's activities, behaviors, and obligations being determined, for the most part, by everyone EXCEPT them? Do you know why your mature relationships are failing? What is that nagging feeling you have that your life isn’t quite what you know it could be? More importantly, what do you do about it?

Generation Baby Boomer, your single greatest power has always been your power to choose. At some point in your life, though, you bought the bill of goods that self determination was only for those younger than 40; that self actualization was for someone else; that self love was the exclusive domain of youth. To thine own self be true, Baby with the real Boom!

Eden Sterlington is issuing a clarion call to all her fellow middle agers, fellow 'Babies with the real Boom', fellow Sage Soldiers, fellow Wisdom Warriors, and fellow Change Champions to Get Back to Passion! “How?” you say? The SatisFillment™ way! This is the first of the new Action Guide series SatisFillment™: Your Proven Pathways to Power, Passion, and Peace of Mind. Each guide will be a collection of activities designed to get you refocused on your true priorities. SatisFillment™ is a way to Get YOU back to TRUE; to start you living in your own expectations; to guide you to the delicious, juicy life you’ve been earning all this time!

With her first installment, SatisFillment™: Your Proven Pathway to POWER, Eden charts a compact, potent, 30-day proven pathway to reintroduce you to your power to choose; to your self determination; to your mature self centered priorities – and it’s a good thing. It’s a very good thing! It is an egostatic exercise. At the end of it, you will have new ways of thinking about yourself and at least one new habit or philosophy that you can apply to improve the rest of your life. Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. Sow a destiny, reap a legacy. EVERYTHING begins with how you think. To thine own self be true.

SatisFillment ™ can help Get YOU back to TRUE! SatisFillment™ can help you Get Back to Passion! SatisFillment™ – Live It and Love It! Give It and Get It! Wear It and Want It! Share It and Show It!

Goodreads Summary

This short book focuses on helping people to find their inner power.  There are plenty of simple exercises to help the reader along with little to no confusion.  There are six focus points, each with their own activities aimed at helping the reader.  The author gives the reader a time limit of thirty days, just the right amount of time to accomplish their goal. 

There are also a variety of quotes at the beginning of each mini chapter.  They were clearly selected with care for SatisFillment, the quotes' authors are well-known.  The reader will enjoy that every focus point comes with an explanation, it is always easier to try something when you are given a good reason to try.  This book is recommended for those who enjoy self-help books and need a little extra push to reveal their inner power.

4 Stars

Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?

Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants.

But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

Goodreads Summary

Luke, the main character, will draw the reader into this novel.  His life has been secretive up to this point, he has to deal with the knowledge that his father is a black ops infiltrator and that he has a strange wolf mark on his wrist.  He has always tried to blend in, but his attempts are not always successful-especially when his father mysteriously disappears, leaving Luke a target.  The action really takes off here as Luke decides that the Russian crowd should be viewed in shades of grey, rather than black or white, and how he should approach the subject of his wolf mark and his father's disappearance.

Luke is a great main character.  He has plenty of knowledge about black ops, as does his father, which really adds to the book.  He is a bit of an enigma in the beginning, forcing the reader to look deeper.  At times, he can be impulsive, though he appears cautious by nature.  The reader will enjoy following his thoughts and actions through the book.  The secondary characters are just as intriguing, the reader will get to meet quite a few "characters."

The events are fast-paced, some high-energy.  The plot was intriguing, could have been developed a little further.  The story itself was good enough to hold this readers attention.  This book is good for young readers through teens. 

3 1/2 Stars

*Requested to review this by Your Need To Read  Find this awesome blog right here :)

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula (Cassidy Jones Adventures #1) by Elise Stokes

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy Jones wakes up the morning after a minor accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist to discover that her body has undergone some bizarre physical changes. Her senses, strength, and speed have been radically enhanced.

After exploring her newfound abilities, Cassidy learns that the geneticist, Professor Serena Phillips, is missing and that foul play is suspected. Terrified that her physical changes and Professor Phillips' disappearance are somehow connected, Cassidy decides to keep her strange transformation a secret. That is, until she meets the professor's brilliant and mysterious fifteen-year-old son, Emery. An unlikely duo, they set out to find Emery's mother, who is key in explaining Cassidy's newly acquired superpowers.

Their lives are put at risk when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous, action-packed adventure. Soon they are forced to confront a maniacal villain willing to do anything - including murder - to reach his own ambitious goals.

Goodreads Summary

Cassidy Jones has always been the quiet child, the one most likely to stay away from the center of attention.  Unfortunately, this doesn't last long and it's not even her choice.  Cassidy goes from being the normal girl who is "average" to being the girl with potential super powers.   The very person Cassidy suspects for this sudden change, Professor Serena Phillips, is missing.  Luckily, Cassidy has Serena's brilliant son, Emery, to help her.  Emery is a bit of an enigma, but he readily helps Cassidy.  The reader will love following Cassidy as she slowly comes to grips with her powers.  Emery is a bit of a crutch while she is learning, he warns her that she is in danger as well.  They both team up in an exciting adventure to track down Emery's mom and bring her back safely, the action is upped when Cassidy loses someone even closer to her. 

The characters are the real draw into the book, as well as the idea of enhanced powers.  The reader can easily picture him/herself as the main character.  Cassidy is timid and normal in the beginning of the book, she has to learn to be stronger, calmer, and to leave her shyness behind at the end of the novel.  It is interesting to watch as she changes, her character is very dynamic.  Emery is the brilliant one; he tends to be the calmer and more collected one.  His character acts as a foil to Cassidy.  The other secondary characters are no less interesting, the reader will happily get to know them all. 

The events are fast-paced and will keep the reader on his/her toes.  The plot is terrific, really holds the readers' attention.  This book is recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy a good mystery with a few super powers thrown in.

4 Stars

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Isadora DayStar by P.I. Barrington

Saturday, August 27, 2011
When drug addled assassin Isadora DayStar finally snags a major interplanetary killing job, she thinks it will both support her habit and revise her status as the laughingstock of her profession. Instead, she embarks on a journey that brings her face to face with her tortured past.
After botching yet another assassination job, ex-military gunner Isadora steals a highly desired new type of weapon as payment. To escape her infuriated employer she stows away on a plague infested ship that spirals downward toward the nearest planet. In an attempt to escape the crashing craft, Isadora finds both an escape pod and the only other survivor, a teenage girl, Iphedeiah. They take flight on a series of encounters from murderous monks to interplanetary pirates while Isadora tries to hide her addiction along the way. They slowly form a grudging bond that grows into friendship and trust. When Isadora kills an old contact to save the girl, they are separated only to be captured individually and then tortured by Caine Dureaux, Isadora's employer to extract the location of the weapon. Who will blink first?

Goodreads Summary

Isadora is an interesting character, she is not without flaws and the author does not bother to try to make her "perfect."  This quality adds to her appeal.  When she once again messes up an assassination job, she flees with an expensive weapon as payment.  Her employer is understandably enraged.  She ends up on a ship that is doomed.  She flees that situation as well and ends up with the only other survivor.  Forced together, they gradually get along and eventually even develop a sort of friendship.  Life is never perfect, they are eventually forced apart.  The story takes off from there.

The novel is definitely worth a second look.  There is plenty of action, even violence, in the book.  The characters each have their own unusual quirks and qualities that makes the majority of them very memorable.  The ending is satisfying.  This book is recommended to adults. 

4 Stars

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul's great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.

After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.

Goodreads Summary

This is a great science fiction book for readers that normally don't read science fiction to ease into the genre.  This book is not confusing in the slightest, the author explains quite well while still incorporating the facts into the novel. 

Kayla is the first character the reader meets.  She is a Tankborn, the part of society created to satisfy the desires of the lowborn-who did not want to be the lowest rung of society.  The Tankborn also contain animal genes that are meant to enhance their skills at their jobs for the other members of society.  Kayla is sent, at the tender age of sixteen, to care for an older man's basic needs.  She finds herself caught up in a world of secrets and intrigue. 

Mishalla is Kayla's best friend and also a Tankborn.  She is sent to care for lowborn orphans...but they keep disappearing randomly.  She knows she has to find out what is going on and why. 

The characters in this book are daring, brave, kind, and caring.  The reader will really form a connection with Kayla and Mishalla.  They are extremely likable.  Their thoughts and actions keep the reader updated and make it that much easier to understand the story.  The plot is interesting and fits the dystopian and science fiction genres perfectly.  The events flow well together and are fast-paced.  This book was surprisingly fun to read and recommended to those who enjoy science fiction, dystopian novels, and intrigue.

4 Stars

*Requested to review this by Your Need To Read Find this awesome blog right here :)