Category Archives: free
by Anna Abner
The Red Plague Trilogy, Part One
The red plague has devastated the human race, turning billions of people into zombies with red eyes and an insatiable hunger for human flesh. The virus sweeps through the population so quickly a possible cure is left to rot. Seventeen-year-old Maya Solomon may be the only survivor who knows where it is. But to reach the lab in Raleigh, North Carolina she will have to outrun the infected boy tracking her every step and cross into a city swarming with monsters.
MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
This is quite a short book (more like a novella, actually), so there’s not too much I can say without giving much of the plot away.
To me, this was kind of just a so-so entry to the world of zombie fiction. Let’s do a pros and cons list.
Things I liked:
–the characters actually use the word “zombie”, not “walker” or “chewer” or anything else trying hard to be clever
–the main character, Maya, has been on her own since everything began, and she really, really likes it that way. She’s not sappy or looking for attention, she just sets out to do what she needs to do.
–the book starts before the onset of the virus, and even explains why it is happening.
–the potential male main character isn’t all macho and able to flawlessly kill everything in his path. In fact, he rather sucks at shooting zombies.
Things I didn’t like so much:
–there is a weird, kind of off chemistry between Maya and the guy she meets, Pollard. Kind of a one-way insta-love thing going on. They seem to bond very quickly, in less than a day in fact. This bonding happens between all of the characters though. Maybe it’s an apocalypse thing?
–the timeline inexplicably changes sometimes. At one point, it says it’s been two weeks since the virus took over, but at another it says it’s been six weeks. Both two and six weeks are stated more than once in the book, and I couldn’t find out which one was true.
–there are ideas just kind of thrown out there and not discussed or even a bit fleshed out. I can’t say what I’m talking about without giving a spoiler, but I’ll just say Pollard randomly throws an idea out during a conversation, and it really should have been explored more.
The author does a good job of building intrigue–I’m very, very interested in knowing Ben’s background and just why he is different. I’m rooting for the characters to find a cure, but because the book is so short and moves so quickly, I didn’t truly get a chance to develop feelings for any of them. I’ll have to continue the series to see if things get better from here.
About the Author
Solving for Ex
by LeighAnn Kopans
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I just kind of skimmed the synopsis of this book, so I didn’t exactly catch that it was supposed to be somewhat of a retelling of a Jane Austen novel. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered. I’ve never read Mansfield Park. The “Mean Girls meets Clueless” part was what got me interested. Unfortunately I didn’t see much of either movie in this book.
The main character, Ashley, was just OK to me. She seemed very very meek at times, then at others she had this fierceness that kind of came out of nowhere. Problem is, by the time she decides to do something about an issue and stand up for herself, the stuff has already hit the fan.
Ashley is in love with her best friend/neighbor Brendan. They are both super smart and hope to bring the school’s Mathletes team to the state championship. Problem is, Brendan seems to be totally oblivious to Ashley’s feelings for him. The relationship between the two started out in a very promising way. There is obviously a chemistry between them, and the fact that they are already friends is very helpful. But both of them make some very bad decisions that cause unnecessary complications.
Although I read this book quickly, I was disappointed by several things. Ashley had to leave her family and previous school because of bullying that got way out of hand. She was being bullied because of a rumor someone started that she slept with a guy, which she did not. Really? Things got this bad over a rumor? And just Ashley was the one being bullied, not the guy? I’m not saying things like this don’t happen in real life, but this scenario really burned me up. Ashley barely has any contact with her parents and siblings after she leaves. I can’t believe her mom would just let her go like that.
There were a few funny and cute parts, though. At the end of every chapter, a little math equation was shown that ended up making me smile.
I am still not sure if I approve of the way this book ended. Without spoiling too much, I feel like the characters jumped into things way too fast. But, like a lot of things about the book, I predicted it.
Overall, I can’t say that I do or don’t recommend this book. Maybe I’m the wrong audience for it because I didn’t know or care that it was a retelling. Fans of Jane Austen may like Solving for Ex more than I did.
About the Author
by Valerie Grosjean
New Adult Zombie/Romance
This is a story of love . . . and zombies.
When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most.
Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her.
Christian’s plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm—where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they’ll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.
Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I love zombie books..I mean, I REALLY love them. A good romance can sometimes draw me in as well, so the prospect of both in one book definitely had me excited to read Undying. While the novel awesomely delivered on the zombie front, the romance was severely lacking.
Christian Winter is a college freshman who is in thus far unrequited love with a high school junior. First off, I have to say this age difference bothered me a good deal. I know it seems like 2 years is not a big deal, but there’s such a maturity gap between a high schooler and someone in college that it’s not even funny. This is why so many relationships fail when one party goes to college.
Anyway, Christian has it bad for Iris. He is an English major and even writes poems about her. As I said, I love a GOOD romance. But this one was so very sappy. Christian fawns over this girl in a very girly manner. Some lines he has, I had to roll my eyes at. What makes things even worse is that Iris doesn’t even seem to really like him even though he feels so strongly for her. She’s actually kinda mean.
Christian is getting ready to go home one December weekend when all zombie hell breaks loose on his campus. After checking his voicemail and discovering that Iris is alive but stranded, he decides to go save her. This off the bat did not make sense. Do you think she was gonna survive for over an hour at a gas station in the middle of the zombie apocalypse?
I know it seems like at this point my rating shouldn’t even be three stars. But let me tell you, when it comes to zombie violence, this book was awesome. And I don’t mean that Christian is going around killing them either–as a matter of fact, he’s kind of a puss and doesn’t even THINK about securing a weapon until about 75% into the story. But the author paints a vivid picture of a town overrun with zombies, and leaves nothing to the imagination when describing how the zombies attack and the carnage they leave behind. It’s disgustingly amazing.
All in all, I am glad I read this book if only for the zombie part of it. To me, Christian is a wimp and kind of needs a punch in the head. I don’t actually like him and Iris together, and that’s not good when you don’t want a main character to get together with his love interest. I also lost any respect I had for him when he decided to have a moment of weakness and put Iris above his family.
I will definitely consider reading the next book in this series, and I truly hope the zombies don’t stop coming.
About the Author
Prizes – open to US and Canada:
-1 signed paperback
- One bookmark
OMG…Am I a Witch?!
by Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Elementary/Middle Grade Fiction
April Appleton is so annoyed at her older brother that she searches the Internet for a spell to turn him into a dog. When the spell works, April realizes she has more powers than she ever dreamed of! Now she has to figure out how to turn him back to normal before her parents find out. She has little time, but with help from her friends Grace and Eve she finds a book of magic that will hopefully reverse the spell. Will it work, and will April’s newfound magic save the day?
MY THOUGHTS 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Super cute, quick chapter book about a young girl who suddenly learns she has witchy powers–because she accidentally turned her brother into a dog!
April Appleton and her friends Grace and Eve must do everything they can to try to turn her brother back into a human before her parents find out what’s really going on.
I think elementary and lower middle grade readers will adore this book. It’s only 150 pages long, and consists of short, non-intimidating chapters. Each chapter ends in a sort of suspenseful way, and I know that will keep pages turning quickly.
As an adult, I read this in one sitting and found it very sweet. There were only a couple of things I wished the book would have included: April’s age, and how she came to get her witch powers. Maybe there will be more April Appleton books to explain this?
There were several funny moments that I know will have younger readers cracking up, such as April trying to keep her doggy brother from peeing in her backpack, and the yucky potion she has to drink! All in all I thought this was a nice middle grade endeavor, and I would definitely read more from this author.
About the Author
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She, her husband and daughter live on a river in Connecticut with their daughter Isabella.
1 commenter will get a signed paperback! US/CAN only please.
by Rachael Wade
New Adult Contemporary
*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.*
A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman’s self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.
My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore.
No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.
All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.
But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way.
About the Author
Tick to the Tock
by Matthew Turner
New Adult Contemporary
Dante King is a young twenty something who discovers he’s dying. He won’t live to see his next birthday and time is ticking away to live life before it’s taken from him. With the help of his eccentric and wild-free friend, Wilbur Day, and stubbornly rational cousin, Ethan Knight, the three friends embark on a trip that takes them across Europe, Asia, Australia and beyond.
Dante clings to his past though and the many regrets he has, yearning for acceptance and finally understanding faith. He’s only loved once, and when Daniella Adams comes back in to his life, the pair realise how in love they are – but must battle what they previously did to one another.
This is a heart pulling journey of amazing scenery and adventurous ways, but built on a life that is soon to end. It follows the love of Danii and Dante, finally realising how much they mean to each other but having it ripped away before their eyes. It’s about love and hardship between friends, family, and a dying son’s regret of not being better.
It’s a roller coaster ride of laughs and tears and making the most of life before it’s too late.
About the Author
My name is Matthew Turner: a Writer, Reader & Coffee Loving Fiend.
As a Storyteller, I embrace the tale in all its forms: Fiction (New Adult, Coming-of-Age), Non-Fiction (Entrepreneur, Artistry, Creative Thinking) & Blogging, Speaking, Vlogging, and more…
What would you do if you had three months to live? That’s what Dante King faces, the indecisive twenty-two-year-old who must finally learn to embrace life and love.
Tick to the Tock is a Contemporary New Adult Novel about Dante coming-of-age during turbulent times. A story inspired by love, but with the gritty realities of regret, missed opportunity, and understanding life’s meaning under dire circumstance. But a single mind isn’t affected on this journey, as an eclectic group comes to terms with the past, present, and what lies ahead.
Dante must confront and accept his fate, but can he let go of Danni: his lost love and kindred dreamer? With his rationally stubborn cousin, and eccentric best friend, Dante witnesses a life of dream and wonder: embarking across Europe, tackling Tibet, travelling Australia, and defeating each lifelong wish one-by-one.
Follow this coming-of-age roller coaster as four lives change forever. We’re only given one, but it’s never too late to understand faith, discover acceptance, and uncover the true meaning of love and happiness. Dante will die, but not before Danii, Ethan, Wilbur and he undertake an intense and heartfelt journey.
Smile… Cry… Ask yourself what you would do with three months left… Because Love & Living Begins Now.
by Jus Accardo
The Eternal Balance, Book One
Hell is looking for a way to break loose…
Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world’s first murderer, he’s plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it’s killing him.
After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can’t outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she’s thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she’s been trying to forget.
Sam strains Jax’s control over his darkness, but running isn’t an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.
About the Author
JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.
1 $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed RUINED Poster (US Only)
3 eBooks of RUINED (International)
The Survivalist Series, Book One
by A. American
When Morgan Carter’s car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country’s power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored—if it ever will be. An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back.
During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell bent on getting home to his wife and daughters—and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
The Survivalist Series, Book Two
Morgan Carter has finally reunited with his loving wife and daughters. Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come. Though for years Morgan has been diligently preparing for emergency situations, many of his neighbors are completely unready for life in this strange new world—and they’re starting to get restless.
With the help of his closest companions, Morgan fights to keeps his home secure—only to discover shocking information about the state of the nation in the process.
The Survivalist Series, Book Three
After the collapse of the nation’s power grid, America is under martial law-and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren’t going to leave without a fight, though-and they’ll do anything to protect their freedoms.
About the Author
A. American has been involved in prepping and survival communities since the early 1990’s. An avid outdoorsman, he has a spent considerable time learning edible and medicinal plants and their uses as well as primitive survival skills. He currently resides in North Carolina on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest with his wife of more than twenty years and his three daughters.
I am excited to share with you my thoughts on a healthy, gluten free way to enjoy your crackers! Crunchmaster offers nutritious whole grain and multi-seed snacks the whole family will love. Let me tell you about their products.
The Crunchmaster baking facility is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization. This signifies that they meet the strictest standards for gluten free products.
The select high quality ingredients for our Crunchmaster crackers and bake them just right for an incredible, satisfying crunch.
Best of all, they’re a nutritious choice – 100% whole grain, cholesterol free, low in sodium, low in saturated fat and with 0 grams of trans fat.
I received a selection of Crunchmaster products to try! Here are my faves.
Multi-Grain Crackers in White Cheddar Flavor
I loved that these crackers were extra crunchy and had just as much cheesy flavor as more fattening snacks! To me, these are good enough to eat on their own, but I bet they would also be great topped with a grainy mustard and thin sliced ham.
Rice Crackers in Artisan Four Cheese Flavor
These are light and perfectly crispy, and I had a hard time making myself stop popping them once I started I liked these alone, and also topped with a bit of bean dip. They would also be perfect to dip in hummus.
Cheesy Crisps and Grammy Crisps
My five year old loved munching on these, and I was only too happy to serve him these cheddar crackers in place of the Cheez-Its he usually wants. I was more partial to the sweet Grammy Crisps, myself. These are the perfect size for tiny hands, and kids will love taking them on the road–I can see these as part of healthy homemade trail mix!
I’m happy to say these yummy snacks from Crunchmaster are going to be a part of our pantry from now on!
Want a chance to try Crunchmaster’s delectable, wholesome treats for yourself? You can enter to win a 6 pack of snacks!
*DISCLAIMER: I was compensated for this post in the form of free products, but I fully stand behind the company and would not endorse any product I wouldn’t use myself. My thoughts and the text are my own.
by Cindy M. Hogan
A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it’s up to Christy to stop him.
To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it’s too late.
If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target—with no guarantee that she’ll get out alive.
About the Author
Cindy M. Hogan graduated with a secondary education teaching degree and enjoys spending time with unpredictable teenagers. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. She loves to bake, garden and be outdoors doing a myriad of activities.