Category Archives: Giveaway

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Crow Made a Friend by Margaret Peot

Crow Made a Friend

by Margaret Peot

Children’s Fiction

Book Description

Try, try again is the lesson Crow teaches beginning readers in this picture book reader. Crow was all alone. But like all crows, he was very clever. Using autumn leaves for wings, sticks for the body and a crab apple for the head, Crow made a friend! But winter winds blew in, destroying his creation. Undaunted, Crow fashioned another bird friend out of snow but could not prevent it from melting in the warm spring sun. Alone again, Crow heard the caw, caw, caw of a real, live bird. Together they built a nest and by summer, Crow had a family. This warm, satisfying story, celebrates perseverance and ingenuity.



My first grader and I read this book together! It’s the perfect length for a bedtime story, not too wordy and with only a sentence or two on each page.

This book is about a crow who’s lonely, and tries to make himself friends.  The crow fails a couple of times, but he never quits.  I like that the lesson of perseverance is taught in the book in a way that’s not super blatant or detracts from the story.

The reason I took away one star is that I felt the ending was a little rushed and not something kids could understand–crow meets another crow and then suddenly there is a family?  As an adult, I got it I suppose, but my seven year old was like, “Mom, where did the family come from?”

My child’s favorite part was definitely the gorgeous illustrations.  He loved pointing out the crows’ beautiful and shiny feathers, especially on the last page when they were all together.

Crow Made a Friend is a super book for beginning readers and one your child will be happy to share with you.

About the Author

Margaret is an artist, writer and costume painter. Margaret has two new books out in 2015, Stencil Craft (F&W) and an early reader picture book, Crow Made a Friend (Holiday House). Margaret’s book Inkblot: Drip, Splat and Squish Your Way to Creativity (Boyds Mills 2011) was awarded a Eureka! Silver Medal for non-fiction children’s books. She is also the author of The Successful Artist’s Career Guide (F&W 2012), Alternative Art Journals (F&W 2012), and Make Your Mark (Chronicle Books, 2004), voted one of Library Journal’s best how-to books of 2004.

An avid believer that art making can be for everyone, Margaret has presented art workshops with cancer survivors, elders, children, parent and teen groups, writers, nurses and caregivers, at The Creative Center at University Settlement’s Creative Aging conferences, and their Artist-in-Residence Training program, with EngAGE Utah, at Gilda’s Club, The Huntsman Cancer Institute, Operation Exodus in NYC, and at Miami University’s Scripps center with Dr. Like Lokon, and Opening Minds Through Art.

Connect with Margaret

Website | | Facebook | Twitter Pinterest (Crow) | Pinterest (Birding)


Amazon | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble


One reader will receive a copy of Crow Made a Friend!

Let me know which animal is your child’s favorite in a comment below!


Two for Thursday Book Blitz & Giveaway: Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes and Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago #T4T



Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes and
Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!



Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London, England, to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London. His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they’ve been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth. Mark’s only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he’ll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.

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“If you enjoy YA time-travel mysteries, I think you’ll like this fast-paced novel.”Kimber Leigh Wheaton, Author


“I found Shadows Fall Away to be extremely engrossing. It’s the type of book you want to start and finish in one day because you can’t put it down.”Jennifer Bardsley, Author


“’Shadows Fall Away’ is a gripping and imaginative young adult novel that mixes time travel, historical fiction, and mystery to keep readers on the edge of their seats.” – Stephanie, A Dream Within A Dream



Kit Forbes

Kit Forbes has  been a lover of books, history, and all things paranormal for as long as she can remember. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her youngest daughter and an assortment of cats who give new meaning to the world bizarre.

 Author Links:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest



While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance…with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka ‘The Zombie Prince’) is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead — unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn’t evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers’ secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.

With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?

For that matter, can they do it at all?

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Over all I really liked the book. It was literally nonstop action and I read most of it on one night because it was so great.” – Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer


“Ty Drago, an extremely talented author, has once again proven the adult mind can be as creative and intuitive as a child’s.”Ryan – Amazon Reviewer


“Fantastic conclusion to the series! Has us on the edge of our seats, and by the end, cheering and crying at the same time.” – Felicia, Amazon Reviewer



Ty Drago

Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place.  In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest.  He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.

 Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads






TWO FOR THURSDAY: The Pretty Dark Nothing Series by Heather L. Reid


Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Pretty Dark Nothing series by Heather L. Reid!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!





It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

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What Readers are Saying:


“This is a surprisingly very psychologically draining book and reminded me of the first season American Horror Story and Stephen King’s Carrie.” – Syahira – Requiem for More Books


“The characters, the world building, the plot… I really think the author had great control over her craft.”Alyssa – Eater of Books


“This is a thrilling story that will keep you up at night!” Katie – Curse of the Bibliophile





It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.

Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron’s memorial, convincing her he’s still alive.

When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophesy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife.

If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment.

All it will cost is her blood.

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What Readers are Saying:


“A love story that lasts for eternity.”
Sherry, Fundinmental


  “This book was engrossing and engaging, and functioned well as a sequel novel.”Alyssa – Eater of Books


 “…I definitely recommend giving this series a try if you’re looking for a refreshing take on demons or like paranormal romance.” – Analee – Book Snacks








Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing new tales of fantasy and horror.

Connect with the Author:  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram




Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win copies of the series!





TWO FOR THURSDAY: The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway


Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Fledgling cover

Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

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“The author has taken the dragon concept putting her own unique spin and creating a captivating new series that spark the imagination.” – MandyThe Reading Diaries

“Nicole Conway does a fantastic job creating her world and describing it in a way that the images fill my head while reading.” – Cassandra – Lost in Books

“It was a nice, fast read and I’m really hoping that we learn more about the Grey Elves, the war and the Dragons in future books because this series has the potential to be really great.” – Natalie – Book Lovers Life


What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it. The truth will soon be set loose.

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“I highly recommend this series to fans of Eragon and Lord of the Rings because those movies jump to mind a lot when I’m reading this series.” – Cassandra –Lost in Books

“This was a very exciting book two that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen next.” – Jasmyn – Bitten by Romance

“This is a sequel of pure perfection!” – Nay – Nay’s Pink Bookshelf



Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.


Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Two winners will each receive a digital copy of the books!






 by Holly Hook 

The Deathwind Trilogy, Book One

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls. Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.

Tornado chasing.

And she’s not disappointed. Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado. In person. She can’t wait to tell her friends back home. Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.

But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked. Confused. When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different. Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.

With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it. She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.

About the Author

Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.
Author links:



Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

Signed copy of Twisted by Holly Hook


Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

The Wonder of All Things

by Jason Mott

Literary Fiction

Book Description

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear.

Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.



The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

From the moment a plane crashes at an air show and 13 year old Ava saves her best friend from death, her life is changed. She doesn’t even understand the “powers” she has, but others seems to think they do–and that it is Ava’s responsibility to heal the world. Nevermind the fact that each time she heals, her own health deteriorates. It’s up to her father, Macon, stepmom Carmen, and best friend Wash to try to help her cope and to keep her safe from a world that would take everything from her, no matter what the cost.

Unfortunately, all the adults in both Ava’s and Wash’s lives make some terrible decisions. Both kids are mature beyond their years because of tragedies they have had to endure, but it’s sad when 13 year olds seems to know how to take better care of themselves than their guardians do. As soon as the world realizes what Ava did, they are in her face asking her to heal them and their loved ones. Even Ava’s own stepmother inevitably asks Ava for something. Macon, who is not only Ava’s dad but the town’s sheriff, does a bad job at keeping his daughter away from those who want to test and exploit her. Every person in this novel is more than a little bit lost, and every person seems to be looking out for themselves first.

This made me very angry for Ava, from the beginning. It’s very unclear to me why Macon did not take the offensive and tell the world that his daughter was slowly dying each time she performed her “miracles.” Would the people have cared? It’s hard to say, but it would have shown that Macon took a hard stance on protecting his child, which is sometimes questionable when you consider his actions.

In spite of all these frustrations, I got this book finished very quickly. The relationship between Ava and Wash was very special, and it’s obvious from the beginning that they need each other. Since both kids have one parent dead and one that’s on a weird path, they are the only constants in each others’ lives. Every moment the kids spend together is extremely touching and your heart just aches for them because you have this feeling that not everything will turn out the way it should.

By the end, events were moving very quickly and chaotically, and still not everyone had found their head. I won’t spoil it here, but the end is very emotional and moving. I don’t think it will make everyone happy, it may leave them angry (as it did for me), and still others may find it a bit ambiguous. But that goes along with the theme of the entire book and Ava’s mysterious abilities. After all, this is a story about a child, which can be forgotten as you read along. At its’ heart, this novel brings up numerous questions to which there are no right answers.

View all my reviews

About the Author

JASON MOTT holds a BA in fiction and an MFA in poetry both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is the author of two poetry collections. His writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. In addition to the rare achievement of receiving starred reviews from all four of the top publishing industry magazines—Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews—The Returned was named a “People Pick” by People magazine, and was featured in Essence, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, among others.  Mott also appeared on numerous broadcast programs including NPR’s All Things Considered and Tell Me MoreThe Travis Smiley Show, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Radio Show and many local television shows across the U.S. Mott lives in North Carolina.

Connect with Jason

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


One reader will win a copy of The Wonder of All Things! US/CAN only please.  Ends August 14, 2015.

To enter, please leave a comment telling me if you have read any of Jason Mott’s books or if you’ve seen the show based on The Returned!

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh

Confessions of a Queen B*

by Crista McHugh

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch.

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she’s carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

3 fleur


Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh

This short tale gets three stars, but just barely. To be honest, it’s full of stereotypical characters, decisions that make no sense, and predictable moments. But at its’ heart, it had a compelling theme that kept me reading until I finished it in one sitting.

Our main character is Alexis, senior and resident gossip blogger at her high school. There apparently is enough going on at this school that Alexis has gained quite the rep: if you’re trying to hide something nefarious, she will find out, and it will be posted on her blog for the entire school to see!

It should come as no shock that Alexis doesn’t have many friends. Her besties are the outliers; a flamboyantly gay Asian kid, and a sex grazed Goth girl. Other than that, everyone else in school is pretty much scared of her. Except for one boy: quarterback and student body president Brett Pederson.

It just so happens that Brett and Alexis get paired up for a school project. Though Alexis does her bitchy best to repel him, Brett is immune and instead seems to want to get to know her better. Alexis must learn to let her guard down around him, which she never does with ANYONE.

As I said, the book is full of stereotypical characters–the gay boy that can only talk about penis (wtf, I know that’s not all he thinks about), the head cheerleader with fake boobs, the quarterback that is nothing but perfect. I saw another review that said if you can remember Freddie Prinze Jr’s character in She’s All That, then you’ve got Brett–and that is a SPOT ON observation. Even when it comes to his parents putting pressure on him about college. That is literally the only problem he has in his life. He is too good to be true, and that does not make a good YA character.

Alexis does have a bit more depth, and getting peeks into her true feelings is what kept me interested. Alexis cannot let anyone see her true self; I think she does not know how. She’s also concerned about losing her status at school, though she would never admit it. If she’s not the Queen Bitch, then what is she? Her struggles with her identity are a bit buried, but there if you are looking.

Apparently this book is the first in a series, but I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing. I might though, just to see what Alexis turns into once she breaks out of her high school mold.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

For the latest updates, deleted scenes, and answers to any burning questions you have, please check out her webpage,

Xpresso Book Tours

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Get Safe Email for Kids at


UPDATE 7/28/2015: We are still using and LOVING KidsEmail! When my son sees me checking my email, he immediately asks to go check his.  I signed him up for a few newsletters, such as those from Nick Jr. and some car magazines (his passion), and he loves seeing that he has new messages.  As he uses it more and more, I don’t even really need to show him where to click–he has got the hang of it!  I’m so glad we found this program.


KidsEmail is giving THREE readers  1 year of Kids Email (value of $38.95).



As my son gets older, he is definitely wanting to do things more and more on his own, and wanting a bit of privacy. At 6 years old, he has already learned some computer skills in his Montessori kindergarten classroom.  I decided now was the perfect time to get him an email of his own. is the perfect solution for kids who want the freedom of their own email address, and parents who want to be able to have some control over what their child sees.  Parents have the option to choose who their child can email and who can email them. You can block senders, filter language and attachments, and so much more!

On the kids’ side, they get to pick a fun login name and customize what their email screen will look like. There are many designs to choose from–here are a few examples.


My son chose the “Racing Champion” template, as I knew he would. There are cool designs for both boys and girls, younger kids, tweens and teens.

Speaking of teens, with KidsEmail your child has the option to have his email grow along with him.  As your child feels they might be getting a little old to have a “kiddie” email address, their account can be changed to a address–but still allowing parents that monitoring option.

All of these features are available at one low price, and you can even get your first 30 days free! Try out the KidsEmail service free for the first month, then choose from one of the low priced subscription plans–as low as $2.99 a month.

(Please ignore my perpetually cluttered desk!)

My child thought it was so cool that he could have an email of his very own, and I could tell that he was proud of it and felt so grown up.  It was very easy for him to understand the interface, and he got the hang of his inbox really quickly. He is already asking to check it every day!

If you’re looking for a safe, fun, highly customizable email for kids, look no farther than the award winning!


BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sleepless by Michael Omer


by Michael Omer

Narrowdale Series, Book One

Book Description

Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.

Amy knew she’d hate Narrowdale, a boring suburban town. How could it possibly compare to L.A., where she lived her entire life? Being a high school freshman in a new place made things even worse.

And that was before she started having the same nightmare over and over again. Before she woke up every night to a shrill whistle outside her window. Before she met a homeless man who seemed to know way too much.

Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets are hiding beneath the surface…

3 fleur


14 year old Amy isn’t too thrilled when she has to leave LA to move to a small town called Narrowdale right before her freshman year. Not only is it bad enough that it’s taking her a while to make friends, but she’s starting to learn that this own is hiding more than a few secrets. Like the homeless man who seems to be able to read minds and see the future. Like the terrifying dreams that are haunting Amy’s every night.

When Amy decides she can’t take any more sleepless nights, she begins to dig into the truth about what is going on in Narrowdale. And a nearly ten year old crime catches up with her in a life threatening way.

To be honest, this story starts out very very slowly, with Amy overexplaining the mundane details of her day. But the book is only 160 pages so it was a very quick read…although it took nearly to the halfway point for any action to be going on.

I guess you could say Narrowdale is a kind of supernatural town, with things going on no one can explain and that no one really tries to. The citizens just accept that the town’s “quirks” are a way of life. There’s really no explanation given about why the town is the way it is, so I suppose we are going to accept this fact as well.

Amy is just OK as a main character, though at times it seems she can’t make up her mind about what type of person she wants to be. Sometimes she’s shy, others snarky, others a class-skipping rebel. Her constant narration of every little detail became annoying quickly.

Once the story hit its’ stride about the reason Amy was having her dreams/visions, things moved very quickly. Amy and her partners investigate, pry, and just plain get lucky breaks, but they find out the truth. This truth puts them in danger, of course.

I truly appreciated that this story didn’t have some budding romance or awkward meet cutes with its characters. Amy got by with help from her friends, but she didn’t need a boyfriend, and that was great.

The end moved very, very fast in comparison to the beginning, and I wish the climactic moment had been fleshed out more. It’s also interesting to note that Sleepless is the first book in a series set in the town of Narrowdale. Maybe we’ll learn more about this place after all.


About the Author

My name is Michael Omer, and I’m a writer, journalist and game designer. I wrote and published my first novel when I was sixteen, and figured I’d keep at it. Since then, I have published two more novels, and wrote… who can even count how many? I’m happily married to a woman who keeps pushing me to write more, and have three kids who insist I should stop writing and come play with them. I also have two dogs.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Mercy House by Adam Cesare

Mercy House

by Adam Cesare


Book Description

Harriet Laurel notices the odor at Mercy House as soon as she sets foot inside, brought there against her will by her son, Don, and his wife, Nikki. In the early stages of dementia, Harriet has grown resentful of Nikki, blaming her daughter-in-law for failing to supply grandchildren. Yet even Harriet must admit that her mind becomes clearer as soon as she crosses the threshold. If it wasn’t for that annoying smell.

Arnold Piper is an eighty-five-year-old ex-Marine, a proud man who has cared for himself his whole life. But no longer. Betrayed by his aging body, Arnold is learning that the trials he survived long ago in war-torn Korea pale beside the daily indignities of growing old. Little does he know that his greatest nightmares are still ahead of him.

Sarah Campbell is an idealistic nurse whose compassion has been stretched to the breaking point at the chronically understaffed facility that is Mercy House. But now Sarah’s list of unpleasant duties is about to take a terrifying turn. For something wicked is brewing in Mercy House. Something dark and rotten . . . and deadly.



The book started out in a promising way, but quickly became a gore fest….it was gore just for the sake of having gore, in my opinion.

In this tale, some sort of change comes over the residents of a nursing home so that they’re not only growing stronger and overpowering the staff and visitors, they are in fact thirsting for their blood!  I wouldn’t call this a zombie book, though.

We learn just enough about the main characters so that we care what happens to them; even though some are stereotypes, we still want them to survive.  The book is pretty fast paced, with action happening within the first 20%, and ramping up quickly after that.

While I like the author’s writing style and originality, I had a hard time taking this story seriously sometimes.  It’s not that the blood and gore turned my stomach, it’s that it seemed it was at times just put into the plot for shock value, not to add anything.  I would recommend this book only for strict horror fans who want a different, but still familiar feeling, book about survival horror.

About the Author

Adam Cesare is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia. He studied English and film at Boston University. His books include Video Night, The Summer Job, Zero Lives Remaining, and Tribesmen. His nonfiction has appeared in Paracinema, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues.

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