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Deadly Sweet Lies Cover Reveal!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nadette Lawson knows when you're lying
Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have visited her dreams, enticing her to enter their world. And every night she's seen through their lies. Now, they're tired of playing in the shadows and they begin to stalk her in the waking world. It's no longer just an invitation; if Nadette doesn't join them, they'll take her family. Forever. She needs help, and the haven she's seeking may be just out of reach.
Julian Teagan is a master of deception.
To survive, he has to convince the world his mother isn't useless, that everything's fine, otherwise he'll lose what little he has left in this life. He knows the lying won't be enough to keep him and his mother in the shadows, but it's all he knows. The only light of truth is Orane, a Balasura who sees past Julian's facade and challenges him to face the darkness.
Then Orane is killed, and Julian learns his mentor was far from innocent. The Balasura have hunted children like him for centuries, and their next target, Nadette is his one chance atfinally being a part of something real. If Julian can just convince her to trust him...


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The worlds of art, politics and passion collide in John L’Heureux’s masterful new novel, The Medici Boy. With rich composition, L’Heureux ingeniously transports the reader to Donatello’s Renaissance Italy—directly into his bottega, (workshop), as witnessed through the eyes of Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant. While creating his famous bronze of David and Goliath, Donatello’s passion for his enormously beautiful model and part time rent boy, Agnolo, ignites a dangerous jealousy that ultimately leads to Agnolo’s brutal murder. Luca, the complex and conflicted assistant, will sacrifice all to save the life of Donatello, even if it means the life of the master sculptor’s friend and great patron of art, Cosimo de’ Medici. John L’Heureux’s long-awaited novel delivers both a monumental and intimate narrative of the creative genius, Donatello, at the height of his powers. With incisive detail, L’Heureux beautifully renders the master sculptor’s forbidden homosexual passions, and the artistry that enthralled the powerful and highly competitive Medici and Albizzi families. The finished work is a sumptuously detailed historical novel that entertains while it delves deeply into both the sacred and the profane within one of the Italian Renaissance’s most consequential cities, fifteenth century Florence.

Goodreads Summary

Ready for an exciting summer read?  The author does a wonderful job of painting a picture of what is going on for the reader as soon as he/she opens the novel.  The reader will begin to see Donatello via Luca Mattei, an assistant.  It is easy to see why Luca adores Donatello so much.  The novel begins with a bang when Agnolo is murdered due to a jealous person who disliked how much Donatello loved Agnolo.  The novel touches on homosexuality in the time of the Renaissance.  The reader will enjoy the author's take on Donatello's love life and how others react to him.

I really enjoyed the characters.  They felt like people I would go to see in a play: dramatic with confidence in spades.  I have always read about the awesome Medici family.  I loved being able to read another book with hints of Medici splendor in it.  The author is one of the few I can think of who portrays love as something to be valued but feared.  Love leads to pain and problems in the Renaissance period for some.  It was refreshing to see an author acknowledge a different side of the emotion.  Donatello is certainly a master of his craft, but he is an enigma.  The author develops his character but always leaves hints of mystery and guarantees that the reader will want more.  As soon as I finished the book, I ran to look up books to enrich my knowledge of Donatello.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Petals on the Wind: Promo and Giveaway!

FICTION INTO FILM: Pick up Petals on the Wind May 20th and watch the movie May 26th!

WATCH: The movie trailer, and tune in to Lifetime on  Monday, May 26th, 9:00 pm ET to watch the World Premier of Petals on the Wind!

ENTER TO WIN: Go to the Pocket Books Facebook page beginning May 20th to enter the sweepstakes for a prize pack of Flowers in the Attic andPetals on the Wind, and the Flowers in the Attic DVD.  Visit right before tuning into Petals on the Wind late May for the sweepstakes giveaway (date to be announced)!

Petals on the Wind cast:
Heather Graham              as Corrine
Ellen Burstyn                      as Olivia
Dylan Bruce                        as Bart
Rose McIver                       as Young Cathy (played by Kiernan Shipka in Flowers in the Attic)
Wyatt Nash                        as Christopher (played by Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic)

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Interview with Imogen Howson!

(Her next book is coming soon and is wonderful!  I'm in the middle of it now!)
1) Do you feel more like Elissa or Lin?
I definitely feel more like Elissa.  Because she’s kind of a normal girl thrown into extraordinary circumstances, whereas Lin, due to her background, is absolutely NOT normal.  I like Lin a lot, though—she was so much fun to write, probably because she doesn’t conform to ordinary standards of behavior.
2) How did you come up with the setting?
The setting developed gradually, from various snippets of ideas I’d had over several years.  Cities that really use all three dimensions (skyscrapers, big tangles of roads going under and over each other etc) always seem more futuristic to me than if they just all sit on one boring level.  And once I’d started visualizing that, it was obvious I should have things like flying cars.  It is the future, after all.
3) Would you change any scene if you could?
I think I’m still too close to the book to know if any of the scenes could be improved by being changed, so right now I don’t think so.  I have a soft spot for epilogues, though, so part of me would like to add an epilogue.  Even though, in the case of this book, I really don’t think an epilogue is either necessary or desirable!
4) Are you going to work on a third book in the series?
I don’t have any plans to work on a third book in this series right now.  I think Unravel ends in a pretty good place.  I might want to revisit the characters at some point, though—there’s definitely a lot more I could do with them.
5) What was your favorite scene to write?
I always love writing action scenes—specially with lots of blood and danger—so anyone who reads Unravel will probably be able to tell which my favorites were!  I daren’t be too specific because *spoilers*!
6) What was the hardest character to develop and why?
I think Elissa was the hardest.  Although she’s basically a normal girl, so to start with I knew how she’d react because it was more or less how I would have reacted when I was her age (or, to be honest, now!), she ends up having to deal with really weird, difficult stuff that normal people don’t usually have to cope with.  So her character had to change and develop in response to all that weird stuff—but in a way that was in character for someone who’s still just a schoolgirl. 
Elissa’s brother, Bruce, plays more of a part in Unravel than he did in Linked, so that was a little tricky, too.  I had to keep him consistent with the bits of his character you see in Linked, but I also had to develop him further—which meant developing the relationship he has with some of the other characters further as well.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Immersed by Jennifer Griffith

Immersed tourImmersed NewImmersed by Jennifer Griffith Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever. But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest. Until… Erik. Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she'd never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.
unnamedFDRE9K6NAuthor Jennifer Griffith Jennifer Griffith studied French, German, Japanese, and a wee bit of Spanish in her school days. Her grandmother was Norwegian, and Jennifer grew up with lots of Scandinavian traditions floating around, including fabulous cardamom laced cookies called Krumkaker, made on a fancy waffle iron. However, she’d never dream of trying to teach someone any of those languages. And she might botch the cookies. Instead, she writes novels in English, drives her five kids a million places, and laughs with her husband, who came up with the plot for Immersed because he’s just a cool muse like that.
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/9/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


This was it, the day she’d waited and worked for over the past years—her degree would be firmly in her hand. Lisette Pannebaker, Master of Business Administration. Her smile even made her eyes scrunch.
Dad’s dress shirt would’ve popped buttons, had he been here to see her.
But it wasn’t just the degree. Chances were that tonight she’d have something else in hand. Or, rather, on her hand. She’d seen the little navy velvet box on Justin’s coffee table—he’d left it in plain sight when she came by to drop off dinner for him last night—and she’d nearly fainted from heart palpitations last week when he’d dragged her past windows sparkling with diamonds and asked whether she thought round cut or brilliant cut had more fire.
Brilliant cut, of course.
Ah, Justin Fox. She sighed for his blond crew cut, his square jaw. Mrs. Justin Fox. It fit. Lisette Pannebaker, student, no more. Now she’d be Mrs. Justin Fox, Master of Business Administration.

Aunt Corky interjected with a selling point. “Amanda, I think Lisette might have a good thing going with this plan of hers. Only the wealthiest business people will be able to afford to hire her as a linguist. It’s going to be a good pool to draw from.” She aimed her fork’s tines for emphasis.
Geez. Great. Now her mom would think Lisette was only starting this business to catch a rich husband. And she’d expect Lisette to be actively looking among the clients—a complete no-no on Lisette’s ethical standards. She’d even written it into the boilerplate contract she expected to have every potential client sign. Aunt Corky meant well, of course. Lisette could forgive easily. At least what Corky said worked—there was a visible relenting in her mom’s countenance.
Lisette pounced on that. “Look, Mom. I have a proposal. Give me three years at this. That’s a reasonable amount of time for a startup company to either make it or break. If I haven’t both paid you back and paid off my student loans in that amount of time—in full, to the penny—I’ll come take the Mandarin job at Pannebaker.”
Mom took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and relented. “Fine. But three years. Every penny. It’s a deal.” She put an arm around Lisette’s shoulder. “I know you can do it. Of course, I’d really rather see you fail.”
“Amanda!” Aunt Corky scolded.
“No, not that. I just want to see her settled and having a family by then. It’s not business success that I count as a real measure.”
Lisette had just been forcibly booted from a relationship not an hour ago. Now was not the time to debate the merits of marital bliss.
“Three years. You’ll only be twenty-seven by then. There will still be a chance of happiness.” Mom sighed, but Aunt Corky squeezed Lisette’s hand and gave a happy little jump and a squeal.


“Plain and simple: you’re too pretty for this job.”
Lisette rolled her eyes and picked up her brush again, going at the high spots on the wall with vigor. “You’ve been talking to my mom again. Did she finally rub off on you?” Great. Now no one believed in her. Not even Aunt Corky. Just a pretty face.
“No, not in that way. What I’m saying is that your business has merit. It can totally work. But just not with you, the way you are.”
Aunt Corky probably didn’t mean to make Lisette want to cry, but the tears welled in her eyes all the same. This dream had taken every waking hour of the last eighteen months. She’d poured her heart and soul into making it grow, not to mention all the money she’d buried in it—advertising, the office, everything. And her time. Day and night. How entrepreneurs lived past age forty mystified her. She barely had time to keep an eye on her elderly next door neighbors. And when a girl was too busy to serve other people, she was too busy.
Aunt Corky reached over and grabbed Lisette’s hand. “What I’m saying is you need a makeover.”
Lisette raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t raise that eyebrow at me, Z. I’m serious about this.” Aunt Corky folded her arms across her chest. “Not a makeover in the traditional sense. More like a make-under. You know, to make you look less…gorgeous.”
Here it went again, with the appearance factor. Didn’t all the studies say that people who were good-looking had a betterchance at success than those who were below average?
“You’re not buying it, I can tell. But think with me. Dark circles under the eyes. A greasy wig. Lines at the mouth. And right about here,” she pointed at her nostril, “a big wart.”
“A wart!”
“Okay, maybe not a wart. That might be over the top. But something that will keep all the pawing maniacs at a distance.” Aunt Corky shrugged and leaned against a dry wall like she’d made her case and the prosecution rested. “Think about it, Z. I mean, you want Immerse to succeed, right? All the years of language skills and business acumen you’ve amassed, they’re going to waste.”
Lisette sighed. Even though she wouldn’t admit it aloud to Aunt Corky, unless something changed at Immerse, things could go south pretty fast. However, she wasn’t convinced it was reason enough to subjugate her dignity and go into daily disguise just to ward off pretenders.
Aunt Corky resumed painting. “Just think about it. Don’t decide now. But if you want to do it, I know somebody. Samantha. A genius with bad makeup. She could absolutely transform you. No one would even recognize you.”
This was crossing over from ridiculous into the absurd.

Erik Gunnarson was unbelievable. Her mouth went dry when she saw him. Lisette hadn’t seen anything this good in months. Years. Maybe ever. At least not in person. Sure, in movies, when men were all filter-lit and filmed from just the right angle, they might have looked this good, but not in person.
Suddenly the room was far too hot for this stupid fuzzy pumpkin sweater with the shoulder pads. And this wig? She felt like a blooming fool in it.
“Hello. I’m Lisette Pannebaker.” She extended her hand, but immediately saw it tremble. His olive skin. Those dark brown waves in his thick hair. She could feel her voice quavering. Tiny beads of perspiration formed on her upper lip, and she touched the side of her eye, then her neck.
He looked up at her, looked puzzled a moment, and then gave her a crooked smile before standing to shake her hand. When he touched it, the trembling went into high gear, like she’d received an electric shock. Did he feel it too?
“Ah, you are speak the English now. I see.” His voice was like…butter. He cleared his throat and said, “I am please to meet you. My name is Erik Gunnarson.”
The accent came heavy, and the lilt was definitely Scandinavian. She’d lived in Norway, traveled all the Scandinavian countries. Was he Danish? He looked Danish. Lots of Danes she’d met had darker hair. Like Erik’s.
With effort she remembered to speak to him. “Where do you come from, Mr. Gunnarson?”
He squinted and shook his head, a sign she’d seen a thousand times before in these meetings, so she asked it more slowly.
“I come from Reykjavik. No.” He puzzled a moment and then continued. “A village…near…Reykjavik.”
Oh, Iceland. She wanted to ask him all about his life there, his upbringing, his family, his plans for a family of his own, and could she please be the mother of his children?

Get a hold of yourself, Lisette. She nearly slapped herself. This had to be professional. What a crying shame, too. He had such a nice crooked grin. And those upper arms. While most clients wore stinky sport coats over golf shirts or boring business suits and ties, Erik Gunnarson wore a plain grey Henley shirt—and looked like he’d just been at Henley itself, pulling the oars in the Thames. Thosetriceps. Who did he think he was? Thor?

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Mystery of Moutai: Excerpt and Giveaway!


In the spring of 1994, John Chan, an athletic teenager, vaulted up the stairs of an old apartment building on the edge of Chinatown in the city of Boston, taking two steps at a time while carrying a hockey stick and a duffel bag full of shoulder pads, helmets, gloves, and skates. He was tired but very excited because he had just played an important hockey game at his schoolthe winner would go on to the division finalsand he could hardly wait to tell his mother that he had a winning goal in the second period and was congratulated by all of his teammates and his coach. John was starving. Looking forward to a hug; a hot shower; and a hearty, homemade meal, he was rushing toward his apartment, which was located on the third floor of the five-story brick building.
After the door swung open by a touch of the end of his hockey stick, John stopped in alarm. Even if she was expecting a guest, his mother always locked the apartment doorshe was afraid of burglars ever since their next-door neighbor had a break-in several months ago. John dropped the duffel bag, placed the hockey stick against the wall and peeked inside the apartment apprehensively. It was late in the afternoon, but the west-facing apartment was still well lit by the sun, which was sinking slowly on the horizon.
His jaw dropped when he saw what had become of his home, which was always neat and clean no matter how hectic the occupants’ lives were. The living room was in total disarray, the floor covered with bits and pieces of books and magazines, and all the drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen were pulled open—his home had been turned upside down, ransacked.
His voice echoed as he called out, “Mom, I’m home! Where are you?”
No response; the apartment was eerily quiet. Hesitantly, John opened the door wider and entered, trying not to step on the fallen books because he knew his mother, Shao Mei, loved them. A former physics professor at Beijing University, Shao Mei kept all the books she had brought with her from China, even though most of them were getting flimsy and falling apart.
Among all the messes, a shiny object drew John’s attention almost immediately. Sitting on the coffee table in the living room was a slick and colorful porcelain bottle of Moutai, the most famous liquor in China. His mother had been working as a mailroom clerk for an insurance company in Boston and could never have afforded an authentic bottle of Moutai, which would have fetched more than a hundred dollars on the black market in her native country.
He walked over and stood in front of the battered coffee table, looking down at the exquisitely designed liquor bottle, which seemed empty. Then, he noticed something bulky stuck between the sofa and the coffee table. It was his mother, face-down on the floor. On her partially hidden, painfully distorted face, blood trickled from her nose and her mouth. His legs started trembling violently. John screamed, but no sound came from his mouth. It was seemingly a long time before he was able to control his limbs. He ran to the kitchen, picked up the phone, and dialed 911.
The rest of the day was a blur. Police officers and detectives came and went, along with a team of forensic specialists and an ambulance. Everything in the apartment and around the body was checked, including a fancy gift box in the trash can, two shot glasses on the kitchen counter, and the empty bottle of Moutai. The forensic officers used protective gloves, putting all the items, one at a time, carefully into separate evidence bags.
After the body was taken away, a tall and sturdy man in his early fifties came into the bedroom where John was sitting and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Paul Winder-man,” he said in a soft voice, “detective sergeant from the Boston Police Department. And your name please?”
“John Chan,” John murmured without looking up at the police officer.
“John,” Paul said, kneeling down to face the kid at the same level. “Do you have any relatives in town?”
“No,” John said and shook his head, looking into Paul’s deep and pale blue eyes in despair. What’ll happen to me now? He thought in panic. Where will I go? His mother was the only family he had in the US. He dropped his head and started weeping.
Paul kept his large hand on John’s shoulder. What a pity. The poor lad might have to be sent to social services, he thought sympathetically. “Do you know anyone in the cityyour mother’s friends, for example?” he asked hopefully.
John lifted his head and nodded. “My mom was friendly with Auntie Ann Lee and Uncle Fang Chen,” he told the detective between sobs. According to Chinese tradition, he addressed all of his parents’ friends as “uncles” and “aunties” even though they weren’t blood relations. As far as John knew, Auntie Lee and Uncle Chen visited his mother often when she was alivesometimes they’d take him along to have dim sum in Chinatown, an area he and his mother lived on the edge of, where the rent was cheaper than most places in downtown Boston.
Paul Winderman’s eyes lit up when he heard the names. He had dealt with both of them in a previous murder case a few years ago. He liked Ann a lot, a very capable young woman and a straight arrow, but he didn’t trust Fang Chen because the professor had played hocus-pocus with the police rather than cooperating the last time they met.
Paul processed the facts in his head for less than a minute before placing a few calls. Due to the fact that Ann didn’t own a car, he dispatched a police cruiser to pick her up. Half an hour later, a sober and red-eyed Ann Lee showed up at Shao Mei’s apartment to take John away.
“I’ll pack up everything you need and deliver to you as soon as I can,” Paul told the kid, who had rested his head on Auntie Lee’s shoulder and was crying.
Lifting his head, the kid said nothing but nodded with tears in his eyes. With Ann’s help, he stuffed a few sets of clothes into his duffel bag, picked up his backpack and the hockey stick, and left his home in the US for the last time.
Friday, April 24
Another warm night; the breeze coming from the open windows makes me feel it’s an early summer rather than spring day.
It has been a thrill to know that I will soon meet my old friend who suffered much at the hands of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to renew our friendship. I don’t have many old friends anymore, having lost all the contacts when I moved. I particularly crave the comrade-ship we forged during the formidable years when we were both young.
It’s fascinating for me to think what this friend of mine will say or what her reaction will be when I show up at her door. I probably should call her first or send her an e-mail, but I’m not sure if she has an e-mail account, or even a computerstill a luxury item for most people. I heard she has fallen on hard times since she left China. The poor thing!

I’m sure I can cheer her up with my visit and my unique gift. It’s only fitting that I should bring her the best.


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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Minimum Wage: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Why Write a Book on Money for Teenagers?

When it comes to building wealth, the most powerful force you have on your side is time. As the days and years pass, the opportunity to build wealth by leveraging time slowly dwindles. The idea for this book came from the realization that often times kids start working their first job at sixteen, likely just a minimum wage, or near-minimum wage, job, but they haven’t been taught how to accumulate wealth. I wasn’t.
In high school, I had some basic accounting, and I learned how to balance a checkbook. We did some stock market games to learn a little about investing, but no class I took ever laid out a plan for success in a capitalist society. No class I took talked about the “Rule of 72,” or compounding return on investment over time, or tax advantaged investment accounts.
But all of those things I just mentioned are critical to understand in a free market capitalist society. They are critical to understand from the moment that you earn your first dollar. It doesn’t matter how wealthy or poor your parents are, it doesn’t matter what background you have, all teenagers in the United States, after reading this book, can set themselves on a path to build a staggering amount of tax-free cash. With just a little bit of knowledge about how money works, and the discipline to follow through, you can be in control of your financial destiny.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not taken advantage of the time I’ve had to accumulate wealth. Worse than that, I realize that as the years have passed and other financial obligations of adulthood have grown, setting aside extra money becomes more and more elusive. I have to acknowledge some hard facts about my own bad money habits—bad habits that stopped me from building wealth. I have to reflect on wasted opportunities and bad decisions. Finally, I have to draw some tough conclusions about the consequences of not saving and investing.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. After reading this book, you will have both knowledge and youth on your side. You will have an action plan on how to start accumulating wealth now. And the possibilities before you will be endless. But let’s talk about where bad money habits start.
Because I’ve sucked at money. I mean, if blowing a paycheck were a sport, I’d be Muhammad Ali—the greatest of all time. As a kid, I didn’t know any better, but it starts a pattern.
When I got my first job as a paperboy at 12 years old, I immediately took the money from my first paycheck down to the Ben Franklin, a few blocks from my house, and bought a bottle of Coke and tons of baseball cards. On the way home, I stopped at Mickey’s for a Chicago-style hot dog with all the fixings and some fries. By the end of the week, all the money I’d made was gone. Back then, it wasn’t much, but today—if I’d just invested part of that somehow—I’d have enough to buy a small island in the Bahamas. I was too young to know it, but that was my first big missed opportunity.
If that’s not painful enough to look back on, I’m sad to say it didn’t stop there. When I started my first real job in high school (bagging groceries), after work, the arcade ate quarter after quarter. And then there were movies (I thought everyone went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark 20 times!), gas for the car, games for Atari, and the occasional burger, french fries, and Coke. It all added up.
Paycheck after paycheck was burning a hole in my pocket. I wasn’t saving or investing anything, but at least I had to stop when there was no money left. Credit cards would later solve that problem. After college, I moved to California, bought a new car, new furniture, new wardrobe, and lots of new grown-up toys. I started getting my hair cut at a trendy salon with a French name, moved into an apartment in the “hip” part of town with a pool table and a pop-a-shot.
You know what’s truly sad? It took me a LONG time to learn from my mistakes. As I got older, people warned me to start saving. I can remember my dad getting near retirement age and shaking his finger in my face at the dinner table on Thanksgiving, saying “You’d better invest your money for retirement, or you’re gonna end up working until you die!” but I ignored him. The years rushed by, and then, with my net worth still bobbing near zero, my wife and I got pregnant with our first baby.
As I sat in the hospital in Chicago—never again. I must change. I must be a good example. I can’t let them suffer the same mistakes I made. I started saving like crazy in my company retirement plan. And that lasted for a few years, but the economy changed, and I was not prepared. I was unemployed for a while—longer than I ever imagined. The mortgage, the bills, it consumed far more than the unemployment check.
I began working a part-time job for minimum wage at the local big box store, but unlike my teenage years, the meager paychecks didn’t help much with all the bills. As the Great Recession continued, I eventually cashed out the retirement money, penalties and all, so I could keep paying the mortgage. It still wasn’t enough. In the end, I lost it all, the house, the savings, and Best Buy even stopped by to get their TV back. I was sick to my stomach.
Listen. I honestly wasted all my opportunities to build wealth and have the choices, the options, to retire rich, so that I don’t have to work until I die, so that I can spend my time with my family. Now, knowing how easy it is to get there if you start early and seeing the principles in this book work for so many people, I’m ashamed of my past actions. But you don’t have to have my same regrets.
So how does a guy who lost everything know so much about creating wealth? That’s a valid question, and I’m glad you asked. Learn from your mistakes. As you grow up, you’ll likely hear that over and over from your parents, teachers, and coaches. It’s what I’ve had to do myself. Learn from my mistakes. So the rest of this book is about what I’ve learned.
In life, there are no do-overs. I can’t go back and make things better for me. But for every teenager out there, hope springs eternal. If this book can make an impact on just one kid (besides my three beautiful daughters), I’ve accomplished more than I could possibly imagine. I’ve created this book is to help you understand what an amazing opportunity you have right now. Time is on your side, and every day that goes by, you lose a little bit of your opportunity. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t make my mistake. In the following chapters, I will lay out for you exactly what you need to do to build wealth.
I warn you, it won’t come quickly, and it won’t be easy all the time. In fact, there will be moments in your life when you question whether or not what I’ve told you is true. You’ll want to go back to your old ways and you’ll have pressure from friends to spend, spend, spend!
When in doubt, just remember, the tools you’re using are the same principles that thousands of people have used time after time to become the wealthiest people in the world. You’re in good company.
My great hope is that you’ll realize just how incredible an impact a little bit of savings and planning will have on your life. If you can just avoid my mistakes and save smart, you can really, truly become a minimum-wage millionaire.

The Minimum Wage Millionaire: How a Part Time After School Job Can Change Your Financial Life, by Bill Edgar, was published April 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon:


The Minimum Wage Millionaire is a must read for teenagers and parents of teenagers who want to learn about how money works. The book presents a practical approach to accumulating wealth for teenagers who are just starting to earn income with a part time job. Using simple analogies to unravel complex financial concepts allows the young mind to grasp why it is important to invest early and how to start with their first paycheck. Following a simple plan for only six years, they will have a small nest egg that will grow into about one million tax free dollars by the age of 65.

About the Author:

Bill Edgar is the author of The Minimum Wage Millionaire: How a Part Time After School Job Can Change Your Financial Life. He is passionate about helping youth understand how to become wealthy. He lives in Elburn, Illinois, with his three nearly teenage daughters (who will all be required to read his book). Connect with Bill on Goodreads ( and Twitter (  


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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Fat boy Vs. the Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach

Monday, May 26, 2014

From "one of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while" (YALSA) comes a brand-new cast of quirky characters, pitting fat boy Gabe against the high school cheerleading team in a battle over control of the school's soda machine.

The war is ON! Never have the stakes been so high. Never have the trenches been so deep. Never has one soda vending machine been so vital. When the high school cheerleading team takes over the machine's funds previously collected by the pep band, Gabe will not stand for it. Something must be done.

Goodreads Summary

This is a high school group's worst nightmare, loosing their funding to the cheerleaders or the football team. In this novel is is the cheerleaders taking money from the band, and anyone could imagine how the band members would feel. Lost to the helplessness of the their lack of popularity when compared to all the pretty girls cheering for the sports teams. The band usually takes the back burner, however this band is not going down without an all out war.

I liked the playful nature of this book. You do get a sense of true battle but at the same time a feel for the fact that these are high school kids that are fighting in silly ways. The cast of characters are quirky but entertaining in their own ways and definitely keep things interesting through the whole book. I liked the interactions between the social circles. Although they are forced due to the war at hand, it was funny reading about band geeks fighting with the popular girls. This novel is definitely funny and something you should take a look at.

3.5 Stars

*Reviewed by Chris*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Mortal Enchantment Book Blast and Giveaway!

Friday, May 23, 2014

“Mortal Enchantment spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.” Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author In Kalin Matthew's world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she's built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past. Worst of all, she learns her father is missing. To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize. As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more...

Amazon eBook for $2.99

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$100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card
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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kindle Countdown May 25-31!

The $0.99 sale will appear starting 8:00 AM PST on May 25 and the price will increase $1 every 38 hours until May 31 when it returns to its normal Amazon price of $4.99.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti: Trailer!

Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she’s ever met, but he's an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he’s believed he has what it takes to be a star. When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he’s thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity—and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she’s attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan’s monumental sold-out concerts. It’s a dream come true…but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when “forever” comes to an end?

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kids Author Lineup for BEA!


Celebrated Author Breakfasts, Powerhouse Panels, Autographing Sessions and Nickelodeon Activities, will Provide Nonstop Entertainment for Booksellers and Industry Professionals as well as
Kids and Parents

Norwalk, CT – May 15, 2014: This year's BookExpo America (BEA), which will combine with the debut ofBookCon , the new consumer event which is being organized by ReedPOP (the organizers of New York Comic Con), will feature an unprecendeted number of the world's most famous and bestselling children's, middle grade and young adult authors. ReedPOP is the world's largest producer of pop culture events and BookExpo America is North America's leading book trade event. BEA's long history of serving the book community for over a century combined with BookCon's unique fan-based approach to programming has set the stage for one of the most significant gathering of kid's authors ever. BEA will be held at the Javits Center in New York City, May 28 – 31, 2014; BookCon will also take place at the Javits Center and will be open to the public on May 31, 2014.
Friday, May 30 will feature BEA's Children's breakfast, an event that has long been considered the highlight of BEA. This years edition will be hosted by Jason Segal with speeches by Mem Fox, Carl Hiaasen and Jeff Kinney. Each author will discuss their forthcoming works, sure to be standouts of the fall publishing season.

BookCon will roll out another star studded kids event on Saturday, May 31 when Jeff KinneyJames Patterson,Rick RiordanRachel Renée Russell and Lemony Snicket take the stage together for the first time ever. The panel titled Blockbuster Reads: Meet the Kids Authors That Dazzle will be moderated by Kinney and will give kids, parents and professionals the inside scoop on the inspiration behind the beloved stories and characters from these renowned authors.
In addition, YA sensation Veronica Roth will be joining BookCon for two panels. First for a conversation with author Alex London (Proxy) about her upcoming release FOUR: A Divergent Collection and then as moderator for a panel entitled Dystopian Futures: Are they Science-Fact or Fiction? alongside literary stars Alaya Dawn Johnson (The Summer Prince), Marie Lu (Legend series) and Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die).
BookCon's offerings will be bolstered with a day long program from Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. From 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, there will be a dedicated Nickelodeon-themed room featuring sneak peeks of new episodes from the network's hit preschool series Dora the Explorer; Peter Rabbit; Bubble Guppies, Wallykazam! and the top-rated preschool series on all televison, PAW Patrol. Additionally, there will be a variety of activities for kids and their families including photo-ops with Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, PAW Patrol and Peter Rabbit costume characters; arts and crafts projects; and a special reading by Fátima Ptacek, the voice of Dora. Ptacek will read "Dora's Big Buddy Race," inspired by Dora and Friends: Into the City!, Nickelodeon's forthcoming educational preschool series featuring the iconic Dora character in new adventures, with new friends and a new interactive curriculum.
BEA and BookCon will host programs that discuss the important issue of diversity in children's books. OnSaturday, May 31 BEA will feature a panel titled Where Are All of the People of Color in Children's Books and BookCon will feature a panel The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

"BEA has a long tradition of showcasing both the biggest names in publishing to being the premier launch pad for the newest literary stars," notes Steve Rosato, Show Manager for BookExpo America. "BEA's audience of booksellers and industry professionals depend on BEA to discover titles that will be big movers in the coming season. The Children's Author Breakfast has consistently stood out as one of the most anticipated marquee events at BEA year after year. We are pleased to not only maintain this standard of excellence for the book trade and also bring key issues forward for the industry to focus on, but also to expand the opportunities for authors and publishers to connect directly to readers and fans through the BookCon is a very powerful combination."

Brien McDonald, Show Manager for BookCon adds "I'm thrilled that BookCon has added such fantastic kids and YA content to BEA's stellar line up of guests. BookCon's fan-based approach provides kids and parents the chance to hear and meet some of the inspirational and creative voices that have been so important in their lives."
In addition these celebrated authors will also participate in events over the weekend: Annie Barrows, Jan Brett, Cassandra Clare, Kate DiCamillo, Jon Klassen, Gregory Maguire, Brad Meltzer, R.J. Palacio, Judy Schachner, R.L. Stine, Jack Wang, Rosemary Wells and many more! In addition BEA will include the Middle Grade School Buzz and the YA Buzz sessions which are recognized as key platforms for launching new books and getting the inside story on the books that already have the industry buzzing.
ABOUT REED POP:ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime, East and Australia, Star Wars Celebration, Special Edition: NYC, Oz Comic-Con and the UFC Fan Expo. In 2013 ReedPOP (has) added Star Wars Celebration Europe and PAX Australia to its rapidly expanding portfolio of international events. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific (including Australia). (

BookExpo America (BEA) is North America's largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. The event is widely known as an ideal place for content creators, media, booksellers, rights professionals, and movie and television executives to meet new authors, discover new books, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those who have a passion for books and reading. BEA is foremost a gathering place for creative writers and thinkers and the commerce they create. It is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself.
BEA is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA).

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ