Category Archives: book tour
by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark
Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close… (insert Star Wars theme music here…)
It is a time of chaotic hormones.
Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.
During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game’s secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.
Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy…
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
As a female who plays video games (I hate the term “girl gamer”), I should be offended by a lot of the things that happen in this book; after all, a girl uses her cleavage to her advantage in the very first chapter. While I definitely hated all the ridiculous stereotypes this book is filled with, I have to admit that this book did have an original twist on boy meets girl and romance.
First off, let me say if you aren’t what some would call a nerd, you will not understand this book, much less enjoy it. There are references to nerd culture, video games, movies, books, and the like in practically every line. I would call myself a geek, and there were some parts even I didn’t understand. This is one thing that massively bothered me, actually: every single character in this book has snarky, geeky comments to make, which are basically the only things that come out of their mouths. The main characters sounded more like 12 and 13 year olds with all the raunchy insults they were throwing around, and that is not good because they are supposed to be in college.
Let’s talk a little about our main characters. Katie, George, and Lanyon are home during their respective semester breaks. Katie is a loner who would rather spend her time leveling up than dressing up. George and Lanyon are lifelong best friends who probably (definitely) spend way too much time together, to the chagrin of both their love lives. All three of these people are at the game store waiting on the midnight release of the hottest new MMORPG. When Katie and George both grab for the last copy of the game, it’s not exactly a love at first sight moment. But as they spend more time together both in the real world and the online gaming one, sparks slowly start to fly and they begin dating–even if Lanyon is tagging along for every one.
As I said, this book is chock full of gamer stereotypes, so many so that I have to wonder if the authors are even gamers themselves. The characters in this novel subsist on Mountain Dew, Snickers, and Denny’s, and regularly stay up for more than 24 hours at a time in front of their consoles. Not only does this sound more like the behavior of teenagers than college students, but I feel like these kids’ parents would not be letting them get away with these kinds of things during their time at home and the holiday season. Maybe I’m just a pragmatist since I’m a parent myself.
The best thing about the book is that Katie and George’s courtship was so sweet and unique. They both really have no romantic backgrounds and no idea how to let one another know how they really feel. But, they try their best, and with the help (and hindrance) of their friends they come together without the ton of drama that YA and NA romances usually have.
I think this may be best suited for an audience a bit younger than me, though I’m glad I had the chance to read a refreshing romance for a change.
About the Authors
Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.
Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.
When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.
She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, and the six-part New Adult contemporary Flowering series. Her most recent release is Primordial Dust, a YA fantasy.
Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders was his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories, and Tales from Midnight’s Graveyard, a collection of non-linked horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic.
Pete’s Website: http://punchmyselfintheface.wordpress.com
Pete’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PeteClarkAuthor
Sarah’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/SarahDaltry
Pete’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/PeteClarkBooks
PURCHASE BACKWARD COMPATIBLE
Strange and Ever After
by Susan Dennard
Something Strange and Deadly, Book 3
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
This is one of my favorite series I’ve ever read. It’s also the only steampunk type series I’ve ever read. I originally started the series because of the promise of zombies, but I got into it quickly and discovered the books were about a lot more than just that.
The final novel starts out right in the middle of where the previous book left off. This can be a problem if it has been a long time since you read the books in the series, as was the case with me. The author does drop some hints about what happened to get us up to the point where we are, but I ended up having to Google to recall who certain characters were and I still found myself a bit lost at times.
Thankfully, the action in Strange & Ever After is immediate, and I found myself once again lost in Eleanor’s world. You can tell that Eleanor has changed so much, not just over the course of the series, but actually from one book to the next. She has experienced so much loss at the hands of Marcus, that her singular fixation is on making sure he is destroyed. She doesn’t intend to let anyone get in her way, be they friend or foe.
The reader can tell Eleanor’s magic has changed her as well. She is no longer tentative about using it, even though internally she is struggling with the thought of taking it too far. Her use of necromancer magic has many effects: it physically drains her; it puts her at odds with her fellow Spirit Hunters; it makes her forget any sense of propriety she ever had. I’m not going to say I didn’t like Eleanor in this novel, but her new demeanor did take a lot of getting used to, and I felt bad for some of the interactions she had with other characters.
I’m still undecided on whether I liked the ending. I think I’m going to go back and give it a second glance and maybe change up this review a bit. I will say that I’m happy I read this series; as I stated before it’s one of my favorites from start to end. I definitely recommend it to steampunk fans, zombie fans, romance fans, and anyone who loves to see the main characters grow and change throughout a series. Very well done, Ms. Dennard.
About the Author
Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the first book in The Maisy Files mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, “Maisy and the Missing Mice”. Book 2 in the series, “Maisy and the Money Marauder” is coming August, 2014. If you haven’t checked out Book 1, you can grab a copy for only 99 cents from Amazon!
About the Book
Summary: Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school’s mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.
PURCHASE FOR 99 CENTS
The Buzz About the Book
“Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries.” ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews
“Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.” ~ The Children’s Book Review
“The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written.” ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon
“My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon
“What an Amazing book. I totally love it. I admire the author dedication for writing an incredible book. While reading this book, it was very clear that author understand kids. I’ve always been an avid reader and this book is one of the best books I have read in 2014. This book grabs my attention from the very start of the book and couldn’t put it aside till I finish it.” ~ 5 Star Review, KristinT, Amazon
“I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries…” ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon
About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum
Elizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children’s series, is the first series that she has published.
As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.
* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: August 7, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
About the Book
Title: A Different Kind of Safari | Author: Helen C. Hipp | Publication Date: March 19, 2013 | Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari LLC | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Summary: What do you need to feel happy about being different? Based loosely on real life experiences, this heartwarming and powerful book illustrates how self-awareness, and courage help a young boy named Raymond learn the difference between seeing things as they appear to be and seeing things as they are. Feeling “different and lonely” Raymond befriends a hippo while on Safari in Africa. Unlike other grey hippos, this hippo is pink. Ray is soon carried into a world beyond labels and challenging assumptions. You will never guess what happens next!
The Inspiration Behind the Story by Helen Hipp
Inspired by real-life adventure, the story behind the story unfolded when I went on an African safari back in 2001. The trip was lead by my father whose dream was to share the safari experience with his family. Little did I know that this trip was going to incite me to write a children’s adventure book but it did.
The storyline made it appearance when my family spotted a pod of hippos and one was pink! My son Ray fourteen at the time immediately named her “Rosie”. Curious and wanting to learn more about this hippo we asked the guide many questions about hippos and hippo behavior. Specifically I wanted to know why the pink hippo stood so far outside of her pod. The familiarity of the guides answer took me by surprise, he explained that “Rosie” was tolerated but not necessarily accepted by the herd because of her differences. As a parent of a child with special needs I immediately felt a strong affiliation with Rosie’s situation as did my son Ray who has experienced his own challenges with acceptance. Inspired, I decided to share the story with the world by weaving them into a children’s adventure book that celebrates differences. The book is entitled “A Different Kind of Safari”. Find out what you can learn from Rosie the pink hippo, and how you can share those lessons with the children in your life.
The Buzz About the Book
“A timeless book, that will speak to everyone. To be enjoyed over and over again! A fun, yet very thought provoking story for all ages. If books had a satisfaction guarantee, this one would be on the top of the list. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Adden B. Chrystie, Amazon
“A Different Kind of Safari is truly a different kind of children’s book! The beautiful artwork bring a very special story to life and I am excited the book is now available in audio format for an added bonus while driving kids around town! I particularly love the message of the book, which teaches us to celebrate our unique differences through Rosie the Pink Hippo rather than allow them to keep us from exploring our potentials. I highly recommend this book to all parents and special needs educators in particular. Thank you for writing this wonderful story!” ~ 5 Star Review, missladyjane, Barnes and Noble
“I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations were beautiful. I found this book to be very interesting and it was written from real life experiences. A Different Kind of Safari draws you in along with Ray on his journey to find his happiness and the answers to his questions. I recommend this book to children that are of grade school age but yet many younger children may enjoy the illustrations.” ~ 5 Star Review, Whittle House, Goodreads
“The book has a great story. The illustrations are amazing!!!!! Get this book! All children from the young to the old will love this book. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mel, Amazon
“A Different Kind of Safari is not only a good book, but a great story! It is not only for caregivers, teachers and parents, but for anyone who has ever felt out of place. A pink hippo named “Rosie” and her friend “Ray” take a journey and explore their similarities and differences on the river of life. Self- acceptance and the acceptance of others is exquisitely conveyed in a fresh, FUN way through this sweet tail. It is a prize for all libraries!” ~ 5 Star Review, Anna Wood, Barnes and Noble
About the Author: Helen C. Hipp
Helen Hipp’s experience raising a special needs child led her to an M.A. in clinical psychology and certification as a life coach. She began her career as a psychotherapist to help people find answers for their life problems. Her work eventually evolved into a coaching practice, WithinU Life Coaching, focusing on individuals with special needs and their families. Helen uses her 13+ years of counseling experience and 20+ years’ experience as a successful advocate for individuals with special needs by helping them reveal their innate ability to solve difficult situations. Her debut book ” A Different Kind of Safari” puts into words the essence of Helen’s teachings addressing the many questions life asks by offering up lighthearted, ever-changing perspectives that transform personal challenges into opportunities.
For more information, visit the books official website and to see a picture of the real Rosie the real life pink hippo that inspired this story, go to www.adifferentkindofsafari.com;
* Book Blast Giveaway *
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: August 6, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Helen Hipp and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids
by Bathroom Readers Institute
Normally, a blooper reel is a collection of outtakes from a comedy. What I’d like to see are funny outtakes from movies whose topics are so serious that I can’t imagine any of the actors laughing or having fun. With that in mind, here are five movies I wish had a blooper reel.
1. The Godfather
2. The Shining
3. 12 Years a Slave
5. Silence of the Lambs
The life of Gordon “Uncle John” Javna, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, reads like one of his books. There’s a lot of fun, intriguing—often odd—information lurking around every corner. He went to art school, and then went on to become a musician, real-estate developer, writer, restaurateur, president of a pre-school, brew pub owner, and editor—not all at once, mind you, but he has been all of these things.
Eventually, though, he realized that because of his love of fascinating facts (and being a bathroom reader himself), he was naturally suited, perhaps even destined, to bring the joy of trivia to the world in a fun, informative way. He assumed the pseudonym Uncle John for the Bathroom Reader series and since then, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader has become the longest-running, most popular series of its kind in the publishing industry. To date, there are more than 15 million Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers in print and his fanatical flock of followers span from Australia to the United Kingdom and beyond.
Guided by their obsession with unusual trivia, amazing origins, and forgotten history, Gordon “Uncle John” Javna and his staff at the Bathroom Readers’ Institute have made Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers a must-have for book and gift stores worldwide for over two decades. Gordon continues to expand his porcelain province from his throne room in Ashland, Oregon.
Monday, June 30th – Candace’s Book Blog
Tuesday, July 1st – Cindy’s Love of Books
Wednesday, July 2nd – Proud Book Nerd
Thursday, July 3rd – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Friday July 4th – Cassandra M’s Place
Monday, July 7th – Sweet Southern Home
Tuesday, July 8th – Confessions of a Book Addict
Wednesday, July 9th – Little Red Reads
Thursday, July 10th – Me, My Shelf and I
Friday July 11th – Bewitched Bookworms
Last Night at the Blue Angel
by Rebecca Rotert
It is the early 1960s, and Chicago is teeming with the tensions of the day—segregation, sexual experimentation, the Cold War and Vietnam—but it is also home to some of the country’s most influential jazz. Naomi Hill, a singer at the Blue Angel club, has been poised on the brink of stardom for nearly ten years. But when her big break, the cover of Look magazine, finally arrives, it carries with it an enormous personal cost. Sensual and magnetic, Naomi is a fiercely ambitious yet self-destructive woman whose charms tend to hurt those around her, and no one knows this better than her daughter, Sophia.
As the only child of a single mother growing up in an adult world, Sophia is wise beyond her years, a casualty of her mother’s desperate struggle for fame and adoration. Unsettled by her home life, she harbors a terrible fear that her world could disappear at any moment, and compulsively maintains a list of everyday objects she might need to reinvent should nuclear catastrophe strike. Her only constant is the colorful and unconventional family that surrounds her and her mother, particularly the photographer, Jim, who is Sophia’s best friend, surrogate father, and protector—but Jim is also deeply in love with Naomi.
Weaving between the perspectives of Sophia and Naomi, Last Night at the Blue Angel is a poignant and unforgettable story about what happens when our passion for the life we want is at sharp odds with the life we have. Part stylish period piece, part heartbreaking family drama, it’s a novel rife with revelations, a vivid and propulsive page-turner—and the major debut of an extraordinary new writer.
MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I mostly try to stay away from historical fiction, but when this book was pitched to me I liked the fact that at its’ heart it was about a mother and daughter. The story was rich, and good in so many ways, but it fell flat in others and actually in some parts really disappointed me.
This tale is told from the two main characters’ points of view, ten years apart. Naomi is 17 years old in 1955, when she leaves her country home in Kansas to eventually make her way to Chicago, where through a series of her friends’ connections she ends up becoming a spectacular lounge singer. Ten years later, her daughter Sophia tells her side, of living with a mother who seems to be on the precipice of fame and leaving her daughter to fend for herself.
Though I enjoyed both girls’ chapters, Sophia’s were the most real and heartbreaking for me. Her thoughts are earnest, with all her feelings laid out bare and nothing held back; because she is so young she doesn’t really see the need to keep secrets. Sophia is scared of loss, and since it’s the 1960’s her biggest fear (at least the one she states) is that everything in the world will be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. This is a rather troubling thing for a 10 year old to be concerned about, but the reader quickly gets the sense that young Sophia may be more grown up than even her mother.
People come and go out of Naomi and Sophia’s lives, and it’s fascinating to watch how each one affects both of them. The girls do have a support system, an “adopted” family of friends who have been there through thick and thin. Jim is the closest friend they have, although his love for Naomi far exceeds what she feels for him. It’s painful to see them interact sometimes, but Jim makes his own choices and he’ll take what he can get from her.
The book is a fast read, but to me there were certain parts that dragged on far longer than they should have, and others I would have liked to see described in more detail. How Naomi got to be where she was is important background information, but I would have liked to see more about Sophia’s childhood and how she was treated by her mother during her first years of life.
As I said, there were things about the story that disappointed me, and for the most part, that would be the ending. Two terrible things happened to Sophia in a very short amount of time, and I was left wondering if she was going to be alright. Yes, she is a strong little girl, but who knows what kind of effect the tragedies will have on a girl of such an impressionable age?
Another thing I found odd was that Naomi just so happened to become lifelong friends with the first few people she met in Chicago. It was all very unrealistic, and seemed kind of forced and did not fit in with the rest of the story.
I did like the book overall and would recommend it to those who regularly read stories from this period in time.
About the Author
Rebecca Rotert received an M.A. in Literature from Hollins College, where she was the recipient of the Academy of American Poets prize. Her poetry and essays have appeared in a range of magazines and journals. She’s an experienced singer and songwriter, who has performed with several bands, and a teacher with the Nebraska Writers Collective. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. This is her first novel.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @RebeccaRotert.
Millie Fierce Sleeps Out
by Jane Manning
Millie is strong. Millie is fierce. But Millie has learned to keep her fierceness in check. And since she’s been sweet all summer long, Millie gets to have a sleepout with her friends. One where she promises to be well behaved. But things don’t go as Millie planned, and our fierce little heroine is not happy. Still, she tries her best to keep her fierceness inside. But when the scary dog from next door howls at the girls’ tent, Millie’s ferocity saves them all!
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
While I thought this sequel to Millie Fierce was cute, I don’t think that it had the heart and humor of the first book of the series.
In this tale, young Millie has put her “fierceness” away and is trying very hard to be good. She’s been so good, in fact, that she’s going to have a campout in her backyard with her two very best friends! Millie goes about preparing everything and planning the night down to a T…but things happen that are out of her control, and Millie must channel her fierceness to make things right.
This book teaches kids that sometimes it’s okay to let a little bit of your attitude show, but I guess to me the lesson seems to go over the intended audience’s head. My son is five, and I can tell you that he didn’t sit still and listen to this entire book as well as he did Millie Fierce.
Maybe it would be better if both books are read to children in quick succession, like either one after the other or one day apart, so that the lesson sinks in better. For our family, the book was okay but sadly not as much fun as we thought it would be.
About the Author
Jane Manning is the illustrator of dozens of children’s books, including Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, Drip Drop by Sarah Weeks, Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell, and the New York Times Bestselling The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low. She wrote and illustrated 2008?s Cat Nights (Greenwillow).
Many of Jane’s books have appeared in Scholastic Book Clubs and ALA “Pick of the Lists”. She’s won several awards for her work, including Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award for Drip Drop, and The Western Writers of America Storyteller Award for Cindy Ellen.
Jane lives in Deep River, Connecticut with Tim, Tatiana, Nellie, Ziggy, and Shep. She is usually very well behaved, but every once in a while, Jane turns fierce, just like Millie.
Visit www.milliefierce.com to find out more about Jane and the Millie Fierce series.
by Kate St. Clair
Amethyst Series, Book One
Magic runs thicker than blood.
Misfortune seems to follow the Sayers family. Georgia has tried endlessly to reestablish normality since her mother died, and she’s no closer from escaping her strange past when a mysterious fire destroys the only other high school in her tiny Texas town. Georgia is thrown into the company of Luke, a cryptic senior who brings her face to face with the truth about her heritage. Her loving, perfect mother created her family for the singular purpose of birthing five of the most powerful witches in the world, capable of terrifying magic. Now that she knows the truth, can Georgia keep her siblings safe?
Who is behind the dark cult that’s after her family? And does Luke know more about her powers than even she does?
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
It’s been a little while since I read a good witch book, and I have to say I really enjoyed this one. What stood out to me and what I loved about it most, is that Spelled is about an entire family finding out about their latent powers of witchcraft–instead of just one girl who must struggle on her own.
I was initially very confused by the prologue, because it throws you right into the middle of something and you’re not exactly clear who is involved and what exactly is happening. But once you get past that and straighten out that this book is about five siblings (for some reason it took me a bit to come to the conclusion that there were five of them), you begin to lose yourself in the plot.
Although I did think things moved quickly sometimes, that is somewhat to be expected in a novella this short. The reader is always fully entranced though, and in a way it’s a relief not having to wait for the next exciting thing to happen.
Georgia is a great main character and an even better sister. You can tell that she wants the best for her siblings, and she’s not quite sure if that would be to reveal their powers to them or leave them in the dark. Ultimately, I think she made the right choice, because it is going to take everyone’s powers to defeat the evil that is after the family.
I would definitely love to continue this series!
About the Author
Kate grew up in Austin, TX, before she attended boarding school in California. She was accepted to the Chapman University Creative Writing program before she wrote SPELLED – Amethyst, Book One, released on April 1st 2014. SPELLED is a paranormal YA series published by Black Hill Press. When she’s not writing, Kate is riding horses, walking her dogs, or playing with her pet pig, Miley.
Before I Wake
by C.L. Taylor
To the outside world Susan Jackson has it all – a loving family, a successful politician husband and a beautiful home – but when Charlotte, her fifteen year old daughter, deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma Sue questions whether any of it was real.
Desperate to find out what caused Charlotte’s suicide attempt, she is horrified by an entry in her diary – ‘Keeping this secret is killing me’. As Sue spins in desperate circles, she risks everything to discover the truth and finds herself immersed in a shady world she didn’t know existed. The deeper she delves the darker the world becomes and the more danger she puts herself in.
Can Sue wake up from the nightmares that haunt her and save her daughter, or will ‘the secret’ destroy them both?
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
This is yet another story that has been novelized from WattPad, and I have yet to read one of these that has been spectacular and truly deserving of the exposure it is getting.
Sue Jackson is a woman who has escaped a horrific, abusive past to seemingly have it all with her new husband and family. But Sue is still haunted by what happened to her more than twenty years ago, and when her daughter Charlotte is in a long term coma because of a bus accident, Sue’s ever paranoid mind begins to think maybe it wasn’t such an accident after all.
The novel goes back and forth between present day and Sue’s past, where she was in a relationship with a man who physically and mentally abused her and kept her captive. It’s not clear at all how these two worlds are connected until the very end of the book, but the diary chapters give some insight onto just how and why Sue came to be as screwed up as she is.
Sue did have some absolutely unimaginable things happen to her, and it’s understandable that she would have PTSD even after so many years. But it’s clear that she has never exactly been stable in her life, and probably because of this is exactly why her daughter was keeping so many secrets from her. It’s hard enough for a teenage girl to open up to her mother–much less one who seems to be crazy.
The things Sue does to find out the truth about what Charlotte was hiding are a little ridiculous. It is also the height of irony that Sue has so little trust in her husband, when she is actually the one who is not divulging everything to him.
By the end of the book, you are ready for something big to happen, and while I wasn’t necessarily let down, I did think things happened very quickly. The end also seemed to wrap up too quickly with so very many unanswered questions.
If you are a fan of thrillers that make you feel like someone is watching you, give his book a try…just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the book having an incomplete ending.
About the Author
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. Cally works in Higher Education and has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.
Her dark psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and as BEFORE I WAKE in the US in June 2014 by Sourcebooks.
Her second psychological thriller LAST GIRL STANDING will be published in June 2015.
Her international bestselling romantic comedies (written as Cally Taylor), HEAVEN CAN WAIT and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS were both published by Orion in the UK. They have been translated into 14 different languages, and her debut was voted ‘Debut Novel of the Year’ by chicklitreviews.com and chicklitclub.com.
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
I’m super excited to be a part of this year’s Summer of Zombie Blog Tour!
Today I would like to welcome Julianne Snow and her novel Glimpses of the Undead to Sweet Southern Home.
From the mind of Julianne Snow comes an undead collection of stories that feature the gamut of emotions and situations. Presented in flash fiction and short stories, the tales are sure to leave you wanting more and checking over your shoulder.
How would a group of children handle an uprising of the undead? What would you do to save a loved one only to find out that you’re facing a different threat altogether? How would a country react to a timely warning at the end of a war? What happens when a vampiric Romeo hits on an unsuspecting human? In a world where the undead are common place and protected, what happens when speed dating produces a love match?
Vanier’s Blueprint: A Zombie Tale
Must Love Zombies
Flash Fiction Duo: Fight and Hunger
Love Bites: A Valentine’s Day Misadventure
An Excerpt from Days with the Undead: Book One
There’s Diversity in the Zombie Genre—I Swear!
by Julianne Snow
Zombie stories are like people.
No really, they are. Every story is different, unique, and for the most part so are people. Sure you have roving hordes of cookie-cutter copies, but you can find that within the genre as well if it’s what you’re looking for.
What does this mean for the reader? Well it means you have a lot to choose from, that’s pretty obvious. But it also means there are numerous stories and series for you to fall in love with. Characters to root for and undead action to wish you never live to see. The diversity is astounding and indicative of the creativity that exists among the talented authors who pen tales of walking corpses intent on spreading the infection.
So what sets my short story collection, Glimpses of the Undead apart? Why should you take a chance on it?
Well, the tales are written by yours truly and they cross a few different genres. What you’ll find are stories that take place during the impending disaster, those that develop once zombies are a part of society, as well as a tale that explores the possibility the undead aren’t out to infect us. Oh and I’ll mention there’s just a smidge of an erotic story line thrown in for good measure—just a little something to make you wonder what would happen if Zombies (and I capitalized it here for a reason but you’ll need to read the story to find out why) couldn’t and wouldn’t infect us if we were to come into contact with them.
So let me leave you with a little something to whet your appetite for some Zombie action:
Above them they hear the shuffling, the halting steps over the rough boards. There is nothing they could do but wait them out.
A small, soft whimper escapes the lips of the smallest child. A hand roughly flattens itself across the offending mouth, startling her even more. A louder cry is somewhat muffled by the fingers but it’s too late.
They’ve heard and are trying to locate the source of the noise.
Panic spreads quickly through the bodies cramped into the space, a palpable feeling that sets more nerves on edge and creates additional nervous energy.
The energy translates into more panic, and more panic into noise. The clamour from above is deafening as the dead scramble to get at the living.
There is nowhere to go but up. Their earthen cellar nothing but a tomb they now want to escape.
And then it is quiet. No sound, no scraping. Just the absence of noise.
It is the calm before the storm. The moment before the fall.
With a resounding crack, the wooden planks overhead crumble downward, pinning some, killing others. Pandemonium ensues as the living try to fight, but they have been relegated to the bottom of the food chain.
About the Author
Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series. She writes within the realms of speculative fiction, has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Julianne has pieces of short fiction in publications from Sirens Call Publications, Open Casket Press, James Ward Kirk Publishing and Hazardous Press as well as the forthcoming shorts in anthologies from 7DS Books, Phrenic Press, and the Coffin Hop charity anthology Death by Drive-In. Be on the lookout for her contributions to a number of collaborative projects to be announced shortly.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie