For Your Heart
by A.L. Davroe
Hill Dweller Retellings, Book One
Experience THE BALLAD OF TAM LIN like you’ve never read it before…
It has been seven years since Jeanette Sauderheim followed her best friend into Carver Hall Park…and came out alone. Jeanette has never gotten over his mysterious disappearance nor has she gone back into the park. While that traumatic night still haunts her, Jeanette distracts herself by balancing her time between trying to pass Spanish, hanging out with her friends, and reading the latest manga.
But, when a promise to a friend drives her back into the park, she’s forced to re-live the memories of that night. Lost and confused, Jeanette crosses paths with Tamrin, whose violent reaction to her provides yet another reason to avoid the park.
Tamrin, a knight of the Summer Court, has been sent to Earth to guard a garden of roses that hold special meaning to the queen of the Summer faeries. When his distraction at meeting Jeanette leads to her picking one of the Summer Queen’s roses, Tamrin vows to right his failure to do his duty.
However, the equivalent of one of the queen’s roses is a human heart and Tamrin’s reluctance to readily exact the sum from Jeanette sets in motion a spiral of love, betrayal, and magic that could mean damnation for them both.
*This is an Upper YA paranormal romance novel with NA and contemporary fantasy appeal.
About the Author
A.L. Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. Her debut YA paranormal romance novel, FOR YOUR HEART, releases October 31, 2013. By day, she lives in Connecticut her two feline hench-creatures. She’s a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she’s a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. She also wears Vibram five-finger toe shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble. She’s a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.
Girls are Players
by Ingrid Seymour
G.A.P. Series, Book Two
About the Author
We need to get something straight here: Nutrisystem is no magic bullet for weight loss. It’s true that eating less, focusing on low glycemic mini-meals, and moving more are going to naturally take some pounds off of your body. But it’s important to consider some other tricky body issues that can halt even the most rigorous diet. If you’re armed with knowledge about these potential problems then you’re going to have a lot more success as you begin on your journey with the Nutrisystem diet, or any other program designed to help you lose excess body fat.
A couple walls you may run into
If you found a nice deal or coupon online, started Nutrisystem, and the pounds aren’t coming off, here’s what you ask yourself: Am I drinking enough water? Dehydration will completely halt weight loss in its tracks. It can even lead to weight gain, explains nutrition expert Diana Ross.
If your answer was “yes”, you now need to check for food allergies. No joke. Food allergies will keep the weight from falling off even on the most rigorous diets. Get checked for gluten intolerance (Nutrisystem has a gluten free option) as well as lactose intolerance and egg. Get the major allergens checked and then proceed.
Let’s say you have no allergies. Now you need to check your thyroid. Hypothyroidism can oppose weight loss because an underactive thyroid decreases the Basic Metabolic Rate—your metabolism—leading to weight gain. Many hypothyroid patients struggle to lose weight.
This is going to sound new-agey, but sometimes we have trouble letting go of fat when we have emotional trauma that we’re holding onto. It’s not the diet; it’s not the exercise or health problems that are the culprit. Perhaps your body is holding on for some reason, and you need to experience some feelings inside to let it go. Are there emotional memories from your past that you’re holding onto, just like you’re holding onto the weight? It’s time to get a journal to write about these experiences so that you can let them go. I know this might sound cooky but it really helps your body to energetically let go of the past. When you’re holding onto emotions, it can affect the way your body is holding onto so many things.
Certified personal trainer Malia Frey explains that emotions and weight loss go hand in hand. Whether it is stress, depression, or a personal/childhood trauma, you need to deal with it in order to see weight loss success. Charlene Juliani was an overweight depressed mother of 6 who tried so many diets with no success. She would lose weight and gain it back again and again. It was not until she put her emotions in order that she joined Nutrisystem and lost almost 40 lbs. On Weightlosstriumph.com you can read Charlene’s story and get discounts for Nutrisystem.
Whether stress, illness, or negative thoughts are slowing down your progress on Nutrisystem, the most important thing you can do is not blame yourself or the diet. You didn’t get heavy overnight and you certainly won’t get slim overnight, so take a deep breath, reaffirm your goals, and have faith in yourself. It’s scientifically proven that negative thoughts about anything can be detrimental to moving forward. Go deep inside yourself and go to the scary places you’ve been avoiding for so many years. You’re likely to find old baggage that is getting in the way. See a therapist or counselor if you must. Get that old stuff out and the old baggage that you’re carrying on your body will fall off as well. Acupuncture is great for moving the energy through your body, as are many other forms of non-traditional medicine.
–This article offered by Pauline
by Sandra Neil Wallace
Red O’Sullivan’s world is crumbling around him: the mine that employs most of town is on the brink of closing, threatening to shutter the entire town. Red will be part of the final graduating class of Hatley High School, but he’s got his own burdens to bear: his older brother, Bobby, died in the war, and he’s been struggling to follow in his footsteps ever since. That means assuming Bobby’s old position as quarterback, and leading the last-ever Muckers team to the championship. Maybe then his angry, broken-hearted father will acknowledge him, and they’ll be able to put Bobby’s death behind them.
While the Muckers are racially-united, their town is divided. Anglos live near the top of the mountain and Mexican Americans down below—where Red’s best friend Cruz lives, and Angie, who Red longs to be with. When the Communist scare threatens to tear the team apart, Red and the hardscrabble Muckers must find a way to go undefeated and win the state title.
I went into this book thinking it was going to be mostly about football, but in reality the football is only a vehicle for the other stories the author wants to tell.
The main character of this story is Red O’Sullivan, who is having a hard time in life. Between a father who barely cares if he’s there or not, a mother who’s gone crazy, and trying to live up to the reputation of his dead older brother, it’s a wonder Red is keeping himself together at all. But with the support of his best friend, Cruz, Red proves himself on the football field, and brings the mining town together in a tumultuous time.
The author has a knack for making you feel the desperation in the characters, and in the town itself. For generations, the mine has been Hatley’s main source of income. But over time, the mountain has pretty much given all it’s got to give. Jobs are getting scarce, and the town, which was already on a fine line, is getting ready to collapse. Races are sharply divided, but the one thing everyone can agree on is cheering for the high school football team, aptly and sadly named the Muckers. Their practice field is full of rocks, and they have to practice tackles with a school bus. No one expects Red to do much, but to everyone’s surprise, and his own, he does.
I did enjoy the book, but there were so many parts of it I thought were very slow and found myself skimming. For the first few games, the football was hardly described at all. But I did feel for Red and everyone else in the town, who had all suffered in some way or another.
While the story touches the reader’s heart, it’s even more emotional when you think that this book was actually based on a true story. I am very glad I’m living in the generation I am a part of now.
If you like your sports stories with plenty of background and heart, give Muckers a read.
About the Author
For fifteen years, Sandra Neil Wallace was a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster before writing novels. After the publication of her first book Little Joe, she was named an outstanding newcomer to the children’s literature scene by the Horn Book. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, author Rich Wallace. Visit Sandra at www.sandraneilwallace.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
One commenter will win a copy of the book. US ONLY PLEASE.
by Laury Falter
The Apocalypse Chronicles, Book One
On an ordinary day in early September, Kennedy Shaw leaves for school unaware that within a few minutes the world she knows will be gone – succumbed to an outbreak of epidemic proportions. After finding a safe haven inside the security of her enclosed high school, she learns that four others have survived, one being a bold, mysterious transfer student from Texas whose unruffled demeanor harbors more than a cool interest in her. As they struggle to survive the dead fighting their way inside, will Kennedy discover there is more to life than survival? And will she and the others find a way to live in this terrifying new world?
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I have to say, I’ve never read a book with a heroine like Kennedy before–and that is an awesome thing! A teenage girl, given elite military training by her Navy SEAL father, Kennedy uses throwing stars and can handle an assault rifle like a pro. Unfortunately, since the death of her father just a year ago, these characteristics haven’t helped her stay the the top of the popular list at school. Good thing she’s a senior and about to get out of there…that is until the world ends one morning, and her schoolmates and teachers turn into flesh eating monsters.
Only 5 people survive and find themselves barricaded inside the school together. Luckily for Kennedy, one of her fellow survivors is the guy she’s been crushing on from afar for over a year, Harrison. She will soon learn that he has his secrets, just like she does. And his may put them all in danger, or be their salvation.
The idea of apocalypse survivors being locked in one place together is not new, but the author made this story her own. Each of the high schoolers is unique and come to find their place in the aftermath of the zombie attacks. Kennedy becomes sort of their leader, which is fine with her because the only person she really trusts is herself.
You could almost say the book is kind of broken into two parts. The beginning of the apocalypse and its’ immediate effects take up the first part, and then several weeks pass before any action happens again. It’s not really implied what happens between the characters themselves in the time that passes, just that everyone becomes used to the new, strange routine of living in a school. I would have liked to see what passes between Kennedy and Harrison in this interim, because without knowing this, it seemed to me like their romance moved very quickly.
The relationship between Kennedy and Harrison was interesting, but it had touches of things I’ve seen before in other stories. He gives her the whole spiel of “I like you but stay away from me for your own good” and of course she does not listen to him. In the second part of the book, it felt like their romance went from 0-60 in no time at all. Maybe this can be attributed to the stressful and unique situation they are in together, I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like there was enough development in my opinion.
I liked the end of the story and how the book actually explained where the zombie virus came from–a lot of books and movies don’t bother to do that. This is the first book in a series and definitely leaves the reader with a cliffhanger. I’ll be more than ready to read the next one in the series!
About the Author
Laury Falter is a bestselling author of young adult romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She has three series out: the Guardian Trilogy, the Residue Series, and the Apocalypse Chronicles.
I’ve had an oily t-zone forever, so it’s definitely a struggle to find the foundation with the perfect mix of shine control, coverage, and staying power. Luckily, I don’t have to look anymore! Say hello to new Stay Matte Foundation by Rimmel London.
Rimmel London is bringing you new Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation - a breakthrough feather light, oil free formula with an airy mousse texture that’s comfortable on your skin, never heavy or greasy. Your new beauty staple delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish, all while minimizing the appearance of pores.
The weight is over – finally, shine has met its matte.
I had to go out of town today and needed makeup that I wouldn’t have to stop to touch up or reapply. I knew it would be the ideal day to put my Stay Matte Foundation to the test!
I started off with my usual moisturizer and a primer.
Excuse my unmade bed, let’s all pretend we don’t see it.
As you can see, I have some redness around my nose, and just a generally oily forehead.
So time to put the Stay Matte foundation to use!
See that little blob? That is seriously all I needed to cover my entire face. It was almost a touch too much, in fact.
I dotted the foundation around my face, then blended with a makeup sponge. Can I tell you, this foundation blends like a dream! No visible makeup lines whatsoever!
And here I am with the Stay matte on! I feel that it brightened up my complexion overall while getting rid of the shine and redness.
And how did it perform? Wonderfully! I never had to powder my face once while I was gone all day.
So I am definitely going to be buying another tube when I run out of this one (which will be a while, as you see from the amount I used)! If you suffer from oily or combination skin ( I wouldn’t recommend this for dry skin), give Rimmel London Stay Matte Foundation a try when it hits American shores in January 2014!
**DISCLAIMER: I received this product free to try from Influenster. All text and opinions are my own.
Today I’m spotlighting the adventure/fantasy series by Amy Lignor, Tallent & Lowery! Let me tell you about each of the books.
In 1902, in a dark room on the fifth floor of Carnegie Hall, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that had been set in stone thousands of years before.
In 2012, Leah Tallent is Head of Research at the New York Public Library. Stoic and stable, brilliant and cynical, she has forever enjoyed her existence among the book stacks. But even with her unparalleled intellect, there was no way to know that on the historic steps between America’s famous lions, she would become involved with a crazy man on a fanatical quest.
Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact that he is certain exists. His life’s pursuit has been to retrieve twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept. To find the keys he must enlist the help of an unwilling guide who, unfortunately, knows much more than he bargained for.
From the first page to the last word, this fantastic duo become immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the strange and eerie Winchester House to the blustery darkness of Loch Ness, Gareth and Leah will quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists…Hell.
The Sapphire Storm–Book Two
After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters from 13 – Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery – are beyond exhausted. Now they are about to embark on the most terrifying journey imaginable…a trip to meet Leah’s parents.
When Leah arrives where the ‘home fires burn,’ her sarcasm burns even brighter, while Gareth Lowery – the handsome adventurer – uses his charm to sway the ‘odd’ Tallent clan. But when a frightening call from Gareth’s sister arrives telling him that her love has disappeared, the daring duo is soon running away from one horrific situation directly into another. A new puzzle from the past has come to life. Following clues left behind, the courageous couple becomes embedded in a world filled with liars, killers and greed.
And when the riddle of a famous ‘Bard’ is solved, a strange woman appears who has far more in common with Leah than she can possibly imagine! The heart-stopping suspense of this new quest takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra, in search of a cave deep underground that once housed a true ‘Illuminator.’
Yet again, they must find the answers and stay one step ahead of true villains who are determined to make sure that – this time – Tallent & Lowery do not survive.
The Hero’s Companion–Book Three
With their second battle behind them, Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery find themselves still knee-deep in hell. What should’ve ended with a celebration of passion wrapped in each other’s arms becomes a nightmare once more, as a mysterious man demands Leah to return home, or else her beloved father will be found at the bottom of the sea.
Scrambling to figure out what’s happened Tallent & Lowery walk in on a family that has literally gone insane: A mother filled with accusations, three sisters who wish them nothing but certain death, and a frightening story of a blood-red eye that leads to a puzzle with immense repercussions. The woman named Anippe who readers questioned in The Sapphire Storm is back, with an item in her possession that will have Tallent & Lowery heading out on an adventure based on pure emotion and ultimate fear – where victory may just depend on their willingness to sacrifice each other.
The time has come for Tallent & Lowery to go head-to-head with the mysterious voice from 13, as a villain is unveiled…and a war begins!
Creating a Famous Duo in Fiction
by Amy Lignor
Personally, my own favorite duo out there in America is the same duo that brought about ‘Tallent & Lowery’ in the first place. Patience and Fortitude, the majestic lions that sit in front of the NYPL, not only greet millions everyday, but they also protect the home, so to speak, of Leah Tallent.
Sherlock and Watson are probably the most famous detective pair out there in the literary world; when it comes to other media venues, you have everything from Crockett and Tubbs to Scooby-Doo and Shaggy to Batman and Robin. Various daring duo’s have always graced the screens – big and small – and have always served up the perfect banter and wit in books we’ve come to love.
With Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery, I wanted to draw on all of these pairs in very subtle ways. With Leah’s happy (sometimes not) sarcasm and dryness, mixed with Gareth’s easy-going manner and love for her – their combined passion for solving these puzzles have drawn readers to their sides. To me, no matter what unique web they find themselves trying to unravel, it’s their strength as a duo that makes the book a success.
When the partners happen to be male and female (Nick and Nora Charles, for example), they can also bring a true bond into the book, which adds to the power of the story. Leah Tallent has certainly gotten into some dire situations in books; 13, The Sapphire Storm and now, The Hero’s Companion. Yet, it’s not her intelligence or her way of reasoning things out that saves her – it is her partner, Gareth Lowery, who makes sure that Leah always has something worth fighting for.
Gareth, of course, is the one who basically ruined Leah’s quiet librarian life in the first place when, in 13, he appeared inside the basement of the NYPL to retrieve a frightening book that’d been buried in the cornerstone of the building. He expected to discover the next steps he had to take in order to complete a lifelong mission of his. What he never expected was to discover the hard-headed, smart-mouthed, warm-hearted librarian who would literally be the brain and soul he needed for the rest of this life.
Being able to take the detective aspects and combine them with the romantic aspects of literary partners (insert pretty much all of Jane Austen partners here), has allowed ‘Tallent & Lowery’ to become far more than just banter and wit. And…with the next four novels to come, readers will be more than surprised when they find out that this pair may just have to live with the fact that their adventures and puzzle-solving could lead to a break-up that neither saw coming.
When it comes down to duo’s, the literary world has offered more than its fair share. ‘Tallent & Lowery’, hopefully, will become one of those teams that will never be forgotten.
Until Next Time, Everybody,
About the Author
Being the daughter of a Research Librarian, books and information were always a ‘gift,’ and there is nothing I like more. In fact, if the NYPL would let me live in their basement, that’s where I would be. I am very proud of my books – especially the ‘Tallent & Lowery’ series – which has been so well-received that I am beyond humbled. Being able to ‘link’ historical locations together and create puzzles that bestselling authors have called, “The Da Vinci Code With Heart”; “Action/Adventure Gold”; and “The Best of the 21st Century” has been beyond my wildest expectations. I am the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion; and I recently was beyond honored to be asked to take on the role of Editor-in-Chief of Hallowed Ink Press – an amazing traditional publisher that will break new ground in the industry. Life is busy…but it’s good. And I have a wealth of friends, family and fans to thank for allowing that to happen! My favorite advice? “While I live, let me LIVE!”
I’m thrilled to help officially unveil the trailer for the long awaited biblical epic, NOAH!
Synopsis: After visions of an apocalyptic deluge, Noah, the world’s only righteous man, is chosen to undertake a divine mission to build a massive ark to save his family and all of creation before the impending rains fall and the flood waters rise.
Cast: Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson
Director: Darren Aronofsky
What do you think? This looks like an amazing take on one of the oldest stories in the world. My family is very excited for this film!
Seeing as I live in a small town, my organic product options are rather limited. So I was very excited to review snack products for Newman’s Own Organics!
Let me introduce you to the company. Newman’s Own Organics was established as a division of Newman’s Own in 1993, and became a separate company in late 2001. The sale of Newman’s Own Organics products generates money for the Newman’s Own Foundation to give away. Since 1982 Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have donated more than $350 million dollars to educational and charitable organizations worldwide.
Every product in the line has been certified organic by Oregon Tilth. Ingredients have been grown on farms that have not used artificial fertilizers or pesticides for three years or more. The farms and processors have been certified by an independent third party.
I got a lot of stuff to try, but today I’m going to tell you about my favorites–and how YOU can win them!
Family Recipe Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: Yeah, these were definitely the first things to be wiped out by me! After I tasted one cookie, I hid the rest so my husband couldn’t find them! These cookies are crunchy and the perfect size for nibbling. They have an awesome buttery taste that makes it hard for you to stop after eating just a few.
Chocolate Cups: These are a great snack for after dinner. I was partial to the Peanut Butter Cups, but my husband prefers dark chocolate and he liked the cups with Raspberry Centers. The flavored centers of the cups are more flowy than those would would find in “big brands”, and that’s quite alright with me.
Sour Licorice Twists and Mints: My 5 year old goes crazy for anything sour, so his eyes lit up when I showed him these fruity twists. Mommy liked that they didn’t have a ton of sugar, and of course organic is something I consider a big plus to give to my child.
My husband snatched up the mints when he saw them, and brought them to work. All the guys in the office immediately wanted to know where they could get their own! My husband even gave an empty tin to one of his coworkers, who wanted it for his daughter to use to store her Nintendo DS games; cool idea!
Newman’s Own Organics products are available at large grocery stores and natural food stores nationwide, as well as several online vendors.
One winner will receive a package from Newman’s Own Organics containing the favorites I’ve specified here, and maybe some other goodies!
Join Newman’s Own Organics on their Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Newmans-Own-Organics/219994593191
**DISCLAIMER: I was compensated for this post in the form of free products. Nevertheless, my thoughts and opinions are my own and I would not endorse a product I wouldn’t use myself.
by Sophie Jordan
The Ivy Chronicles, Book One
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for, like, ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has the perfect plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom: take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous and deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as a lesson in attraction is turning both their worlds upside down, and showing them just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real. . . .
MY THOUGHTS: 2 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I think I am going to stay away from the New Adult genre for quite a while, because lately all of the NA books I have read have been full of tedious cliches, so much so that it’s difficult to discern the plot of one or another. They all just kind of run together. Unfortunately for me, Foreplay fell right into this problem.
The main character, Pepper (hmm, really?) has been pining away for her best friend’s brother for as long as she can remember. When she finds out he’s finally single, she convinces herself that in order to get him, her little virginal self needs some…experience. Of the sexual variety. So she sets her sights on the local bartender, who she has heard has plenty to offer in that department.
Except, Pepper has the wrong guy: Reece is not a player, but he is willing to show her a thing or two. They both have horrible pasts, and because of this have trouble connecting. Pepper must decide to go after the guy she’s always desired, or the new man who’s rocking her world.
So, let me go ahead and get all the cliches that bothered me out in the open. Tattooed bad boy with a past: CHECK. Virginal girl next door with trust issues: CHECK. Friends that offer comic relief: CHECK. The two main characters “break up” more than once but can’t live without each other: CHECK. Literally, every New Adult novel I’ve read has had most of these elements going on. It makes the books very predictable, and when you go in with this feeling, it makes it difficult to connect with the characters at all.
Now for my other big issue: the sex scenes…OH GOD. I’m just gonna be nice and put it this way: they were very far from realistic. The first time they hooked up, all Reece did was touch Pepper ON THE OUTSIDE OF HER JEANS, and he gave her an orgasm. I mean…what do you say to that? This doesn’t happen to anyone, much less someone who has no sexual experience. And the scene where he took her virginity was just as bad for me.
What did I like? Well…Reece was a nice guy. I liked the way he treated Pepper, even though she treated him like garbage. Sorry, I just don’t have too much nice to say about Foreplay.
I could say a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that. I was invested in the story at first, but as it went on it got more ridiculous and I got very annoyed. This is the first book in a series, and if the next book is about these same two characters, I won’t be reading it.
About the Author
Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History. A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature – teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.
In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon a Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Nominee for Best First Historical Romance, hit book shelves. Her second novel,Too Wicked to Tame released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller’s List.
And as if she’s not busy enough, Sophie writes contemporary paranormals for Pocket under the name Sharie Kohler. Sophie resides in the Houston area with her family and loves to hear from readers.