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Thursday, June 28, 2012

What can you win on this blog?

Thank you for stopping by this blog!!! There are a bunch of other contests, many International going on right now!

INTERNATIONAL AMAZON GIFTCARD CONTESTS!!! Please leave comments for these awesome authors!

$50 Amazon Giftcard!

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$10 Amazon Giftcard/Print or Ebook Copy!




Signed First Edition Copy of The Last Refuge!

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Guest Post and Giveaway by Author Lila Munro!

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard!!! Giveaway Open Internationally!

Another One? What Happened?
When I saw that one of the possible blog topics Krystal suggested was inspiration and sequels, I had to smile. My latest release, Assumed Master, is in fact a sequel. It’s book four of my Identity series which has taken so many twists and turns for me, I sometimes look back and think, “What happened?”
The Identity Crisis series began as a stand-alone novella length work that was supposed to whet my appetite for the darker side of romance in the form of a little slap and tickle via the BDSM highway. Okay. That lasted all of… a couple of weeks. After finishing the first installment, entitled Identity Crisis and the namesake of the series, a few more characters started talking. See how that works? ☺
So, I completed Identity Crisis, which by the way was a very fun write. I still love Tori, Chad, and Ren—oh, did I forget to mention it’s a ménage? A tres hot one I might add. You see, when all this arms and legs action happens, the two men are hooded and Tori is clueless as to who is who. Fun and sexy! Anywho—with Identity Crisis complete, I figured out my itch wasn’t quite scratched and a couple of more characters began to chatter away. And they told me they were book two…Ummm? Book two of what exactly?
The Identity Crisis Series, the voice of one Stephan Sachelles said. Who? He’s the very talented and skilled master from True Identity. His submissive to be, one Jillian Stewart, agreed. Well, alright! Guess we’re doing a series. Now what about book three? Everyone knows a series comes in threes. After much thought, Assumed Identity started coming to fruition after I read some accounts of and talked to a few people I know in the lifestyle about edge play. Interesting stuff to say the least. ☺ Julie Marie Hayden Chelsea Stevens was born and Mason Seidler came along with her. Oh, and did I mention her best friend? Who’s gay? And married to a bi-sexual named Dante that wants her, too? Oh yes, it does get complicated my friends. And to make matters worse, or better, or not, maybe…
Before I could even get Assumed Identity finished and off to edits, Dante came off the page in all his Dom glory and declared, “Guess what? Our story is nowhere near finished.”
Really? Just who’s in charge here anyway?
Ummmm…clearly that is the wrong thing to say to someone as dominant as the likes of Dante. He is in charge and that’s the final word on that.
That’s how Assumed Master came into being, also shattering my concept of the rule of three. Now, I must warn you. Assumed Master isn’t for the faint of heart. There are some unconventional ideas going on and I address the issue of what happens to a completely submissive slave when her one and only Master has died. I’ve been asked repeatedly where I go for my research, do I know people that practice, etc, etc , etc. Yes, I do know people. I just keep my sources close because I won’t betray them or their privacy, but I can tell you that I do know of actual accounts in which a slave has been more or less “willed” to another in the event her Master would die. I know. It’s a hard concept to grasp. But I’ve found that most of these occurrences have been pre-planned and discussed ahead of time so everyone involved is aware of what’s to come. And all parties are agreeable.
And to further shatter the concept of a series coming in threes? I was near the end of Assumed Master, ready to hit send to my editor, when Allen, a prominent character in Assumed Master, started talking to a girl named Nicki…who has an obsession with lollypops…Book Five, Assumed Calling is now in the works. Another One? What happened?
Thanks for hosting me today, Krystal!
Happy reading!
Lila Munro~~

Excerpt #1:
“What is it?” Julie whispered, her heart pounding.
Drake cleared his throat again, took a staggered breath, and began to read.
“My dearest, angel. I’ve asked Drake to read this to you as I knew it would be a very hard thing for anyone to do. Dante and Blake are with you at my request as these instructions involve them as well. I’m so sorry I left you alone. You know I’d never do anything to hurt you, but karma and fate had a different plan and I was powerless to stop it. But I’m not powerless to play a part in your future. When you gave yourself to me, you willingly gave me the power to make your decisions for you, although I only did so in cases where what was best for you was against what you thought was right. It never happened often as I never wanted you to lose yourself or your voice. You were always so pleasing to me in that way. I’ll never forget your confusion as to why some subs would purposely displease their Master. It made me so proud to know I had a rare gem in you, a sub that would give so freely and willingly of herself. Angel, what I’m about to do will go against all your instincts, but make no mistake. This is one of the rare times I’m setting my foot down and doing what I know is best for you regardless what you might think.”
Drake stopped and wiped the sweat off his brow, glancing at the three of them.

Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You by Brian Hardin

Through his own story and the remarkable experiences of others, Hardin inspires believers to read the Bible for the adventure it is. In "Passages," he answers questions about reading Scripture, encourages readers with practical ideas, and shows that reading the Bible every day will change one's life.

Goodreads Summary

    Growing up Catholic, I have listened to Bible readings very often and can even say that I have read most or all of Bible. I took a class titled “Bible” in high school and attend Mass most Sundays. There was a joke that circulated around my grade and high schools, we called the people who only attended Church on Christmas and Easter “Chreasters.” Now that I am older, I realize that the name is not funny. People who rarely come to Mass are missing out. Brian Hardin’s book is a great way to return to faith and feel good.
Passages is filled with quotes, personal stories, and resources to help people find their way back to God. The book helps you become a happier person and make changes that will improve your life. I believe I am a more forgiving person because of this book. Passages reminds you that you are not alone and gives you tools to improve your life.       

4 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

Goodreads Summary

Elise starts out as unfamiliar to herself as to the reader. She has literally forgotten herself. Of course, memories can't suppress character traits and Elise is exceedingly kind and caring. The book focuses around Elise discovering who she is and what her purpose could be.

Elise isn't entirely alone in figuring out her past. She does experience flashbacks that may or may not be her own. She must delve through Onika's memories too. She has a bit of a love triangle through part of the book with Abe and Harlin. Abe is the "dark" love interest while Harlin remains "lighter" and representative of good. Elise's destiny depends on her choice between those two almost as much as her ability to help people. The Need won't remain dormant for long, however, and Elise's time is running out.

This book was easily as good as the first with only one exception. Sometimes, it felt like the plot was a little forced and wasn't explained enough. Some portions of the plot are only explained at the very end, leaving the reader confused until then. The ending itself is very satisfying and the characters will stick in the readers' mind long after finishing the book. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Goodreads Summary

Sloane is not as unhappy as most "normal" people might be when the apocalypse hits. Her home life is deteriorating further and her sister has left. She hates her father, the reader will receive small hints throughout the book concerning why. When Sloane falls into the small group, she isn't as big on survival on the rest of them. The group isn't doing so well either, they are arguing amongst themselves over who really "killed" the two parents who were with the group.

With the group Sloane is in stuck in a high school, much of the book takes place in that high school and it is the setting for the revealed secrets and developed relationships. Sloane is desperately trying to learn more about her sister and deciding if she truly cares to continue to live. The author does a terrific job of setting the other characters apart from each other; they each have an individual unique personality, they are memorable. The reader will be rooting for them all to survive to the end, but is that realistic in this type of atmosphere? The ending will leave the reader both surprised and oddly satisfied. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Hope Springs By: Kim Cash Tate

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hope Springs is the epitome of small-town life-a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes . . . until now.

Janelle Evans hasn't gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn't long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened.

Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she's longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she's been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women's conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father's church in Hope Springs. Will small-town living affect her big ministry dreams?

Stephanie London is married to a doctor in St. Louis and living an ideal life. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels compelled to do the same. It's a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-and for Hope Springs itself-is bigger than they ever imagined.

"Kim Cash Tate draws us into a world where the dreams, desires, missteps, and matters of the heart we discover mirror our own. She is a master at crafting characters who make you forget you're reading fiction. By the end of "Hope Springs," you'll feel as if you're cheering on members of your extended family." -Stacy Hawkins Adams, bestselling author of "Coming Home" and "The Someday List"

"Tate expertly crafts an intriguing narrative that explores unrequited love, true faith, and the complicated politics of change in the Christian church . . . an] affecting tale about forgiveness and following God's call." -"Publishers Weekly"

Goodreads Summary

Members of the Sanders family typically get together for Christmas and family reunions, but distant homes, jobs, and in-laws have kept some of the family members away. When their aunts and parents tell them that Grandma Geri hasn’t been feeling well, some of the younger Sanders decide to make a trip to Hope Springs, North Carolina for Christmas. Newly widowed granddaughter Janelle travels there with her two young children; missing her husband, Christmas hasn’t been special for a couple of years. Granddaughter Stephanie has been praying for ways to put meaning in her life, to be a servant somehow; she and her husband join the family for Christmas too. The death of her father-in-law, Jim Dillon, brings Becca, a promising writer and new speaker for a Christian women’s conference, to Hope Springs. As these women come together with their aunts, cousins, old friends, neighbors, and memories, relationships heal.
I felt like the first few pages were speaking to me when Stephanie and her husband talk about how she is trying to be more of a “servant”, to give more. I’ve often thought that I prefer the “servant” roles in my life, but I know there are ways to do more. Even though my own church looks 98% like me, it surprised me (hypocrite?) that two churches could stand so close to one another and be separated entirely along racial lines. I could somewhat relate to the career type story of Becca and her husband Todd, but their out of the ordinary aspirations to be a pastor and faith inspiration speaker made their story less engaging for me. Thank you Ms. Cash Tate for including the family tree – if not for that, I think I would have been confused at first about family connections.
The pain of cancer and moral issues are addressed with eloquence. Even better than the light romance in the book, I just loved some of these characters! I wish I had a Grandma Geri to tell me to “come here baby” and “let your family love on you”. I hope I become a Geri someday – she and some of the other women characters have so much heart and such a sense of doing right. Even Libby, who sometimes seems to ignore the Sanders’ moral code, thinks that there’s “no way you could grow up in the Sanders clan and not know right from wrong”. This story invites readers to reflect on their own lives and relationships.

Four and a Half Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Kindle Fire Giveaway and More! Save the Date - 7/1-!

Celebrate the release of Hope Springs with Kim Cash Tate by coming to her Author Chat Party on Facebook.

Find out what readers are saying here.

Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join me for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!

During the evening Kim will be sharing the story behind her new book, posting book club questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and (I'm so excited about this) - a Kindle Fire!

But, wait there's more – she’ll also be giving you a sneak peak of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 10th ... and bring your friends!

The Twelfth Paladin Guest Post and INT Giveaway!

Playing with Fire

Temptations. Who doesn’t have them? Some people feel an uncontrollable urge to consume an entire bag of Doritos at three o’clock in the morning, and in my home...Little Debbie Snacks, of various sizes and scrumptious chocolate shapes, vanish into thin air. How many of us have eagerly purchased McDonald’s crispy, perfectly salted French fries for our families, only to devour them before we reach home? Yes! Just about any diet can be sent to the bottomless pits if cravings are not controlled. But, face it—none of these temptations will result in anything too atrocious, other than tighter fitting jeans, which is bad enough.

Tighter fitting jeans and extra time spent walking off those blasted calories are unfortunate consequences for succumbing to desires, but for Jake Cottrell, protagonist in The Twelfth Paladin, playing with fire...temptations of the wicked kind, may cost him his soul. Jake easily falls into a decadent realm filled with lust, murder, and revenge.

The Twelfth Paladin

In The Twelfth Paladin, good against evil battles as angels, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire, named Rachel Darnell, vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. Jake foolishly dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees.

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin.

Excerpt from Chapter Two

Setup: Jake Cottrell and a previous high school buddy, Davis Travis, have gone to a local carnival in Clearview, Oregon. Davis knows a gorgeous gypsy who works at the carnival, named Jasmine. He asks her to do a reading for Jake...

Jasmine’s dark green eyes intensified making me feel vulnerable, like my skin was nothing more than clear, plastic wrap. Her crystal ball glowed bluer as pure white light shot out from the top of it. The warm light split up into thousands of hair-like strands, which proceeded to wrap themselves around my stinging flesh. A satisfying, but overwhelming aroma gobbled up the carnival smell once present.

I couldn't speak, felt immobile in every physical aspect, yet my mind burned. Things about my ridiculous childhood appeared throughout my mind much like a movie. Tender moments shared with Tony were especially heartfelt to see, like the day he showed us our new home. After that, I remembered when my mother left us, and our life mirrored the Underworld. Sadness just about asphyxiated me. Out of nowhere, the sorrow left as I relived the surreal accident at the Motocross Track. For a second, I was dead and descending into Hell.

At last, relief came to me as Jasmine released her hands from mine. As fast as a lightning bolt, the white light retracted backinto her crystal ball. “My, my, Jake Cottrell,” she said while patting her lovely chest.

“What did you see? Am I going to win a lottery or something?” Standing up to leave, I acted like nothing had happened.

Jasmine came to me and then placed her delicate hand on my right shoulder. A half-smile disappeared when she leaned in to whisper,“Surely you will fall into darkness, before you willingly bathe in the glory of the light. All in due time, Jake Cottrell.”

Faster than Tony could empty a bottle of whiskey, goose bumps consumed my skin. “Stop it. How did you know I dreamed that?”

Inches from my face, Jasmine ran her black nails along my jaw. “ You've been scarred with angelfire. Your right shoulder I believe? A war is going on, but you won’t accept you’re the twelfth one, will you?” She laughed, dancing about the tent looking more like a medieval witch than a modern-day carnival gypsy. “I hope you’re ready for the ride of your life…because it’s coming.” Jasmine spun around faster as the candles flared and her cackle grew more intense.

“Angelfire, ride of my life, and the twelfth what? Oh, forget it. You’re nuts. Come on, Davis!”


A seeker of mischief, Jake ends up on a blistering blacktop headed for straight for Hell where he must fight for everyone he loves and for his soul. Can he beat the odds and win? Find out in The Twelfth Paladin.


Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The most terrifying things Nora has encountered are teenagers...with driving permits, and she’s taught five of these frightening creatures to drive. Her publishing credits include anthologies, magazines, and e-zines. Melange Books released her science fiction adventure, Guardian 2632 in January 2011. Melange Books released Nora’ssupernatural thriller, The Twelfth Paladin in June 2011, and her work has just been published by Crack the Spine and Bête Noire. Themes found in Nora’s work relate to good against evil, Internet safety, the powerful consequences for one’s actions, and the ability we all possess to improve the world. She’s had the pleasure of reaching people through the airwaves on radio stations throughout the US. Feel free to download previous interviews and segments from Desmond Haas/Romance Radio Network and BlogTalk Radio’s Not Picture Perfect, plus B.K. Walker has interviewed Nora at BlogTalk Radio as well.

Contact Nora Weston

Twitter: almostsanelady

Website: Http://


Buy Links


Melange Books

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Dancing Naked In Dixie by Lauren Clark Review and INT GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? 

When Julia leaves her town to travel to the South, she enters a new world.  She has to pick up and understand certain mannerisms and adjust to how things are done in Eufaula.  The reader will likely find Julia's experiences hysterical as she struggles to get her bearings in Eufaula. 

Julia's character was nice enough, the reader will likely connect to her by the middle of the book.  The other characters are a riot.  Some have that old Southern charm while others remain Southern gentlemen.  There are other characters that are true characters, making the reader laugh.  Julia learns to love Eufaula and wants to fix what is threatening the small town. The town is experiencing difficulty with their historical rennovations and something seems a little underhanded.  Can Julia help save Eufaula? 

Readers will enjoy the mystery, intrigue, Southern charm, and slight romance that can be found in this book.  Naked In Dixie is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

I’m a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It’s as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.
Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.
And quite exhausting.
Which is precisely why I have to get organized.
I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.  
“Julia Sullivan!”
Third reminder. Uh-oh.
Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. “Guess you better walk the plank,” she teases. “New guy’s waiting. Haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s the ‘take no prisoners’ sort. Hope you come back alive.”
I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.
I’ve been dying to find out about the new editor.
Every last gory detail.
Until now.
“I’m still in another time zone,” I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.
Marietta tosses me a wry look. “Nice try. Get going already, sport.”
I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta’s already disappeared. Smart girl.
“Fine, fine.” I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.
Our new editor.
My neck prickles.
I’m not going to worry. Not much anyway.
My pulse thuds.
Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.
Focus, Julia.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Terri Giuliano Long - What Is Your View on Authority?

Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler -
until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future.

Leah grew up in a privileged upper-middle class world. Her parents spared no expense for her happiness; she had all-but secured an Ivy League scholarship and a future as a star athlete. Then she met Todd.

Leah’s parents watch helplessly as their daughter falls into a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties. While Will attempts to control his daughter’s every move to prevent her from falling deeper into this dangerous new life, Zoe prefers to give Leah slack in the hope that she may learn from her mistakes. Their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage.

Twelve-year-old Justine observes Leah’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family. She desperately seeks her big sister’s approval and will do whatever it takes to obtain it. Meanwhile she is left to question whether her parents love her and whether God even knows she exists.

What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?


Guest Post:

This was certainly true in my case. My mother was an alcoholic. At least one afternoon a week, when I returned home from school I’d find her passed out on the living room sofa. The elementary school bus brought my younger brother, Ethan, home an hour after me. Before he arrived, I’d clean the house; if I could rouse my mother, I’d help her to bed.

The first time she attempted suicide, I was twelve. I found her on the bathroom floor. At first, I thought she’d passed out. The puddle of blood – maybe she’d cut herself shaving. I was young, naïve. Years later, I realized it was a cry for help. I couldn’t wake her. Terrified, I shredded a hand towel, tied a tourniquet to stanch the bleeding, dialed 9-1-1.

As a teen, I always felt watched. I felt judged.

From behind, I watched the paramedics work on my mother—and I felt their eyes on me. It happened again and again, and always those questioning eyes. I resented the EMTs, their control over me. Resentment of the situation morphed into resentment of authority.

I wanted to be a better parent to my children, make a better home than my parents had given us. Unfortunately, even if we try to escape, our lives are haunted by our parents’ mistakes. Those of us who don’t follow in their footsteps often go too far in the other direction. Either way, the result is the same. We’re still fighting the emotional demons.

When I was a kid, if you’d told me I’d battle addiction one day, I’d have laughed. It started when Justine was a baby. I got pregnant a few months after I had her. My doctor had inserted an IUD at my six-week post-natal visit, so it shouldn’t have happened. My doctor pressed me to abort. If I hadn’t had children, I might have felt differently. I was devastated. After the procedure, he gave me painkillers. They got me through the days.

I kept going back, wheedling, begging for refills. In retrospect, I suppose it was a power game – see who wins, him or me. At the time, I just wanted my fix. I worked his guilt in a big way. I blamed him for the abortion. Obviously, it wasn’t his fault. Getting pregnant with an IUD intact was a fluke. That rarely happened. There was no way he could have known or predicted. But I didn’t care. The truth didn’t keep me from using it against him.

For a while, I was on top. When he finally threatened to cut me off, I freaked out. I screamed, I cried. He left me in the room and called Will. Together, they talked me into checking myself into a hospital. Will’s mom came, stayed with the kids. I was in for two weeks, while they gradually weaned me off the pills. Rested, I came back a new person.

Knock on wood, I haven’t had a problem since. But the possibility is always there, so I have to be careful. I still resist authority. Intellectually, I recognize the need for authority. Without it, people would kill one another. The strong would take advantage of the weak. Of course it’s not an intellectual response. It’s visceral, and those are harder to control.
If I’m driving and a cop pulls me over, I mouth him off. It’s ridiculous and I know it while I’m doing it – I even think about it - but my inner adolescent won’t listen to me.

Anyway, I’ve passed my authority issues to my daughter. Leah’s a good kid at heart. I’m treading lightly. If I don’t push too hard, maybe she’ll escape the demons that haunt me.

Who is Zoe Tyler?
She is Leah’s mother in Terri Giuliano Long’s novel, In Leah’s Wake. Zoe Tyler holds a master’s degree in social work and is employed by Cortland Child Services. She is founder and executive director of “Success Skills for Women on the Move,” a motivational workshop for women seeking life changes. She lives in Cortland, Massachusetts, with her husband, Will, and teenage daughters, Justine, 12, and Leah, 16.

About the author
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

Moa Excerpt!

Monday, June 25, 2012
Please enjoy this excerpt from Moa, a paranormal YA novel with a literary bent by Tricia Stewart Shiu. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.


Eighteen-year-old, Hillary Hause’s left thumb searches frantically to turn on the “I’m Okay to Fly” hypnotherapy recording. Her nerves on edge, fuchsia fingernails press into the blue pleather armrests of her airplane seat.

“No spells can help you now,” she whispers to herself under her breath—then checks to see if anyone notices. Nope, they don’t.

The plane lifts through the early morning, gray fog of California, “June Gloom” giving way to the azure sky, and Hillary covers her curly brown head and retreats beneath the questionably clean plane blanket cranking the volume to drown out the drone of the engines.

“Outer shell close to breaking.” This time she doesn’t care if anyone hears.

I hover just beyond her “outer shell”—a movement in the periphery, a faintly familiar scent, a fond memory just beyond recognition, a non-human observer. Before the week is up, Hillary will save my life, as I will hers. But, for now, more about Hillary.

The drink cart rolls past the blanket, which has, by now become a moist steamy cave.


“Hey, freak. I hope your plane crashes.” The memory reverberates through her brain despite her attempts to distract herself with the hypnotherapy recording. She increases the volume, but the ugly conversation, which occurred just before school ended, still haunts her mind.

“I guess the only people they check on those flights are the suspicious ones,” Krystal Sykes, a bully from her home room, leans in as Hillary hastens to grab books for her next class. Krystal, also a senior, has hounded Hillary since the first day of freshman year and this is the final day during the final hour at this tiny high school of 376 students —where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

“Look, Krystal.” Hillary turns her eyes toward the sneering blonde. “It’s the last day of school, we’ll never see each other again. Can you give it a rest?” These are the most words the two young women have exchanged in the entire four years of high school.

A look of shock replaces Krystal’s smug snick, “Oh, so now you talk.” She leans in, so close that her spray tan becomes a patchy Impressionist painting. Her pores are blotched with cakey, two shades too dark powder, her unblended cream eyeshadow creases across the center of her lid and her tropical breeze flavored breath threatens to strangle the words right out of Hillary.

“I know all about your witchcraft practices and have made a few spells of my own. Trust me. You’ll never make it to your sister’s house in Hawaii.” Krystal’s backpack jingles and Hillary watches her spin around and skip down the hall.


Hillary is not a witch. She has, however, carefully crafted a “shell” to protect herself from bullies like Krystal—who, as far as Hillary can tell—is not a witch either. She has watched Krystal throughout elementary, middle and high school and has not been able to discern whether or not she practices witchcraft. No matter what Krystal’s background, her intent is to harm. And there is nothing worse than a spell with an aim to hurt. Hillary has had no choice but to remain in a constant state of defensiveness.

The twenty-minute recording ends and Hillary falls into a troubled sleep—feeling every bump and hearing every creak of the plane.

With about an hour left in the flight, Hillary awakens with a “turtle headache.” Hillary’s older sister Molly taught her this term which means a headache caused by sleeping too long underneath the covers of one’s bed.

Sadly, Molly lost her husband, Steve, last year in an unfortunate surfing accident. The throbbing pain in Hillary’s left temple could be the result of remaining submerged beneath an airplane blanket and wedged between the window and armrest, or it could be from worry about how Molly and her niece, Heidi are dealing with their devastating loss.

Disoriented, Hillary pokes her head out just in time to glimpse puffy clouds and sparkling sea below. A flood of excitement and sheer wonder flows through Hillary in the form of a tingle from her head to her toes. And then, a lovely thought: “...And for an Everlasting Roof, The Gambrels of the Sky...” She will enjoy this plane ride, thanks in part to Emily Dickinson.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

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About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku: The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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Ties That Bind New Cover!

Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded - until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother's deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren't enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.
As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself.

Goodreads Summary

*Please Refer to the Other Ties That Bind post for full review*

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore and Win a Nook Color from Shannon Dittemore (@ShanDitty)! "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and Facebook Party {6/26}

Celebrate with Shannon by entering her "Angel Eyes" Giveaway and connecting with her during the Author Chat Party on 6/26!

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Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 25th. Winner will be announced at the "Angel Eyes" Author Chat Facebook Party on 6/26. Shannon will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills and giving away some great prizes!

So grab your copy of Angel Eyes and join Shannon on the evening of the June 26th for a chance to meet Shannon and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

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Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 26th!

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

Goodreads Summary

Everyone wants a fresh start at some point. When Brielle moves in with her dad she expects her life to normalize. Instead, more and more changes are thrown at her. Brielle finds herself in a battle she is not sure she can hope to win between demons and angels. Her hope for a normal life flies out the window as she navigates her new world.

Brielle meets Jake early on in the novel and their relationship grows from there. Jake is the perfect boyfriend for the most part. Charismatic and handsome, it isn't hard to see why Brielle would fall for him, though she does almost too quickly. Brielle is still adjusting to her present, but she hasn't overcome her past. The reader will learn bits and pieces from Brielle's past along the way and should have fun putting them together to see the complete picture. Though the story certainly has a religious bent, it isn't all-consuming or a make or break it type. The plot was well-written and should keep the readers on their toes. The ending will have the readers updating their wishlists for the next in the series. This book is recommended to young adult/adult readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

A Princess Broken by Misty Gatlin

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sarah defines herself as many things: broken, damaged, addicted, and hopeless. Hurt at an early age by someone dear to her, she retaliates by living a life filled with destruction. Her past has finally caught up with her, and she's ready to call it quits. Her story unfolds when she meets a compassionate stranger who helps her realize past decisions don’t define who she is, and what she thought was the end of her story is only the beginning. A life-changing decision is placed in front of her, and she's forced to face it head on. What will she choose, and where will that path lead her?

Goodreads Summary

This book is hard to review without giving away spoilers. Sarah, the main character, has been dealt a hard lot in life. She doesn't respond well, but who would? Sarah continues making more than her fair share of bad decisions, can she even be redeemed? A kind stranger bothers to stop and listen to Sarah's story, providing warmth and friendship besides. Sometimes it just takes the kind words and actions from a friend to make a world of difference. As Sarah begins her story, the reader delves into her emotions as well as her life.

The plot is emotionally driven. Readers will likely feel very badly for Sarah, she is a sympathetic character. Though she could come across as a "bad kid," Sarah has redeeming qualities such as perseverence and resilience as well. Having the story told directly through her eyes adds a lot to the overall plot and the impact the story will have on the reader. Overall, this book is recommended to young adult/adult readers.

4 Stars

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Misty Gatlin is a writer and keynote speaker at events for various churches and organizations. She has worked with teen and college aged girls for 12 years. Her passion is to teach young ladies to have confidence in their own identity in Christ. Misty and her husband, Eric, have been married for 11 years and have two wonderful children. You can learn more about Misty, her books, her speaking, and read her blog at

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Ties that Bind By: Heather Huffman Review and Giveaway!

Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded - until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother's deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren't enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.

As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself.

Goodreads Summary

Before her mom died, Kate Yager didn’t miss having “family”. Feeling lost and alone, she’s decided to move to San Francisco and begin a new job. She loves the job, loves her friendly co-workers, and finds she’s falling in love with another new hire, British Gavin Nichols. Kate also suspects that her new boss is the father she never met. Next, throw in a scary, stalker named Justin and a serious car accident….and you have what sounds like a really improbable, overdone plot. Huffman, however, combines these dramatic moments into an enjoyable, believable read.
The humorous dialogue between Kate and Gavin when she realizes that he is younger than her is fun to read; the way Huffman later incorporates it into Gavin’s courtship for her is touching. Situations such as when they enter a salon to give each other a new hair style caught my attention. I might try that with my husband for fun. Gavin seems a perfect impossibility – a great-looking, thoughtful, sexy, considerate, funny, family guy; yet, every reader will want a Gavin! Huffman even makes the situation with Kate’s father seem understandable. First, there is shock and uncertainty. Later, there is a desire to try to have a relationship, even if it is thirty years late.

Three and a Half Stars 

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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The Last Refuge by Ben Coes Review and Print Giveaway!

With time running out to stop the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv, Dewey Andreas must defeat his most fearsome opponent yet.

Off a quiet street in Brooklyn, New York, Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured by operatives of the Iranian secret service, who smuggle Meir back to Iran, where he is imprisoned, tortured, and prepared for a show trial.

What they don’t know is that Meir was in New York to recruit Dewey Andreas for a secret operation. Meir had been tipped off that Iran had finally succeeded in building their first nuclear weapon, one they were planning to use to attack Israel. His source was a high-level Iranian government official and his proof was a photo of the bomb itself.

Dewey Andreas, a former Army Ranger and Delta, owes his life to Meir and his team of Israeli commandos. Now, to repay his debt, Dewey has to attempt the impossible ---to both rescue Meir from one of the world’s most secure prisons and to find and eliminate Iran’s nuclear bomb before it’s deployed---all without the help or sanction of Israel or America (at the near certain risk of detection by Iran).

Unfortunately, Dewey’s first moves have caught the attention of Abu Paria, the brutal and brilliant head of VEVAK, the Iranian secret service. Now Dewey has to face off against, outwit, and outfight an opponent with equal cunning, skill, and determination, with the fate of millions hanging in the balance.

Goodreads Summary

Less politically cynical than his predecessor, President Dellenbaugh is sworn in after the death of the president. At a time when Iran is agreeing to accept more intense oversight of its nuclear program, it is also secretly planning to launch a nuclear missile at Tel Aviv. As part of the Iranian government’s plan to demoralize and destroy Israel, Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured from a New York street. He is taken back to Iran where he is tortured and prepared for a “trial”. After sentencing, he will be executed by firing squad. His American friend, a former SEAL and Delta, Dewey Andreas decides he cannot abandon Meir, who recently saved Andreas’ life. Because of the president’s objections, Dewey must work outside of the government/military sphere to recover Meir and eliminate the nuclear threat to Israel.
This political thriller moves quickly. Descriptions of characters like Abu Paria are the stuff of nightmares for wimps like me. Tortures that Meir is subject to, the cloak-and-dagger actions of the Iranian government agent who tips Meir off about the bomb, the mocking derision of Meir’s “defense” attorney, the stories of hatred and revenge on both sides are thrilling in this tense story. It is fast-paced, yet my attention wandered at times…maybe because I did not connect with the characters? However, I had to know what happened next. The plotting and execution of Andreas’ plans were exciting. The end was a little unbelievable to me; it seems impossible that someone like Paria would believe that Andreas valued his friendship with Meir so much that he would make that last deal.

Three and a Half Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

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Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.

Goodreads Summary

Annie Nutter lives an ordinary, but happy life with her parents and friends. A band geek and braces wearer, Annie is unpopular, but content. Her life is transformed, however, after an incident with one of her father’s inventions. Annie is thrown into an alternate universe in which her mother had married a man who became a millionaire. She lives in a glamorous house in Miami and is gorgeous. Annie’s life is perfect from the outside, but she misses her real father and hates her friends who are cruel, steal things they could easily afford to buy, and use drugs. Ordinary and happy is preferable to glitzy and miserable any day. After a short time living in this parallel universe, Annie just wants to return home, but can she?

Roxanne St. Claire created Annie to be funny, strong, and an overall good person. I liked reading about Annie as she explored her new world, making me laugh the entire time. Supporting characters all have distinct personalities as well, giving the plot line spice and making the book memorable. Don’t You Wish is a good book for teen and young adult girls. These readers would appreciate Annie’s humor and relate to her thoughts. I give this novel five out of five stars.

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret – but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

Goodreads Summary

 Meagan Spooner wrote an entirely unique, original book. Lark Ainsley’s world runs like clockwork and is powered by magic. Each person is a cog in the perfectly running machine that is kept alive by magic Harvested from younger citizens. The Harvest is considered a rite of passage to adulthood, and Lark is excited when her name is finally called. Lark’s Harvest is unusual though, and repeated (all citizens are only to be Harvested once) after she answers some questions and takes a few tests. At this point, Lark realizes that she is a Renewable, someone who generates their own magic. Lark then learns a horrible secret; Renewables are enslaved and forced to painfully power the city nonstop. If Lark wants to avoid that fate, she must escape and leave the only home she has ever known if she has any hope of surviving and finding safety.
Lark is a likable heroine. She is naïve, but tough and a good friend. Lark braves the war- ravaged land outside the city and tries to understand her gift. Spooner does a great job with description and detail. I felt like I was walking next to Lark everywhere she went, seeing and hearing everything she did. Another significant skill Megan Spooner has was the ability to foreshadow events without giving them away. I could feel anticipation building, but was never certain of how the events would playout. I really enjoyed reading Skylark and highly recommend this book to readers over the age of fourteen of either gender. This book could be appreciated by anyone and earns five out of five stars from me.

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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The 500 by Matthew Quirk

Mike Ford is a former con artist who's been plucked from his Harvard Law School classroom to be an associate at The Davies Group, Washington's most high-powered and well-respected strategic consulting firm. Their specialty: pulling strings and peddling influence for the five hundred most powerful people inside the Beltway, the men and women who really run Washington -- and by extension the country, and the world.

The namesake of the firm, Henry Davies, knows everyone who matters; more importantly, he knows their secrets. Davies' experience goes back 40 years -- he worked for Lyndon Johnson, jumped shipped to Nixon, then put out his own shingle as the Hill's most cut-throat and expensive fixer. Now he's looking for a protégé to tackle his most high-stakes deal yet, and Mike fits the bill.

Quickly pulled into a seductive, dangerous web of power and corruption, Mike struggles to find his way out. But how do you save your soul when you've made a deal with the devil?

Goodreads Summary

Mike Ford’s dad is in prison, his mom has died, his brother is in and out of jail, and he is ready to graduate from Harvard Law School but with a ton of debt from his mother’s illness and for his Harvard tuition. He can’t believe it when Davies Group hires him – giving him a large salary, a great apartment, and a secretary who takes care of everything for him. He has also fallen for Annie Clark, an associate at Davies. He has everything until he learns the degree to which the Davies Group will go in order to control The 500, the most influential, elite people in D.C. Using the criminal skills that he acquired from watching his dad, he attempts to discover …and then escape political, murderous intrigue.
As Ford is drawn into the “barely legal” practices at Davies, I cringed. You know that he should get out now. Another associate with great political ties in Washington warns him, but Ford is too tempted by his success to leave. Pulled in two directions – because he does seem to have a functioning moral compass, I hated to see him get much too curious about the project that could get him, his dad, and his girlfriend killed. The money and tactics of the Davies Group made me wince. How much of this actually goes on? It’s depressing. The “honor among thieves” creed of his dad made me feel better about the world. Difficult to put down, the book would probably hook the guys in our house too.

Four Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

The Best Way: El Camino de Santiago By: Bill Walker “Skywalker”

Bill Walker and his nephew Gavin travel a pilgrimage from France to Spain; their destination is the great gothic Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, Walker describes his fellow travelers and the small villages that they pass through. He describes the food, the hostels, the landscape, and the level of interest in the World Cup. He describes the religions and the level of spiritual interest that he and the other walkers have as they travel to the presumed final resting place of James, the apostle.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book so much! Maybe I’m just a busybody, but I like to hear about the personalities, friendships, difficulties, romances, and squabbles along the road. The history that Walker interjects is so interesting, especially since it usually coincides with a place or person along the trail. His tales about the bull running in Pamplona, Hemingway, the Inquisition, the effect of the Catholic Church on learning in Europe, the history of the Basques, and so much more just kept me turning pages. The interaction between middle-aged Walker and his teen nephew about sickness, trying new foods, and figuring out where to sleep made the story personal. I found his insights about his walking companions to be intuitive; he also genuinely seemed to like them all…to find some good quality to praise or to see some characteristic to gently laugh about. He seems to fall into stereotypes when describing different cultures; however, it sounds like he has good, amusing examples of their behaviors to back up his opinions. Just like the tiny older women who are fascinated by his height, the fact that he is 6’11’’ somehow adds to his impressions of the trip. Walker nearly always focuses on fellow travelers who are younger than himself. Perhaps he found the older trekkers lacking in interesting stories; or perhaps, he was more likely to team up with younger people who Gavin might prefer. It would have been nice to hear about married couples or families who were making the pilgrimage, but even without those added stories, I really enjoyed reading The Best Way. The book is a great way to experience Northern Spain.

Four and a Half Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.