Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Egg Treasure Hunt Day 32



Welcome to day #32!!  I hope everyone has enjoyed the hunt so far..  For those of you just joining us, or just happened to stumble upon my blog, here's the details..

Read2Review is hosting this fun blog hop in order to help us all to meet new author & blogger friends, win some nice giveaways and generally have a good time!

What do you have to do to get involved and start on the Easter goodness?

1. Each day a new site (list is included behind my hidden egg) will post an Easter Egg.

2. On their website with the Egg will be a hidden letter.

3. Also on many of the fantastic websites will be a mini giveaway! Be sure to check them out!

4. To be entered to the grand prize you need to collect all of the letters and put them together to form a quote. All the final details will be announced on the 8th April – Easter Sunday – on Read2Review

To find my letter for the day, click on my Easter egg.  The letter will be somewhere within my post in blue.


The details about my giveaway, and how to enter it, are there as well..  Happy Hunting!!

Review: Trapped On Draconica

Trapped on DraconicaTrapped On Draconica by Dan Wright

Ben is just your typical teenager – loud, obnoxious and always getting himself into hot water. Coming from a troubled household, it’s no wonder Ben’s been on the wrong side of the tracks lately. Ben thinks that his troubles can't possibly get any worse. How wrong he is...
Mysteriously teleported to the world of Draconica, the homeland of the Dragons, Ben gets caught up in a invasion by the Baalarian Empire – who are hell-bent on capturing him. But what did Ben ever do to upset them?
With no idea how he got here – and with intentions only on getting home, Ben embarks on a fantastical journey. Joining forces with the Dragonkin sisters Daniar and Erowin, Ben must help them take down the Empire before their dark grasp tightens across the land.
Little does Ben realise that his role in this battle is far more vital than he realises – and that his coming here was no accident. So he embarks on a journey that will change his life forever.
Written by Dan Wright and featuring anime artwork by Alexis M. Centeno, Trapped on Draconica is an epic fantasy adventure that takes you on an incredible journey that you want to visit again and again.

My Review:
I got this book for review, and I have to say, seeing the cover and reading the description I honestly didn't think I'd care much for it.  It just didn't seem to be my cup of tea.  I started it anyway, like the good little reviewer..  I was actually quite surprised!  While the content was a bit different (and almost too out-there) for me, the writing style of Dan Wright was good and captivating..  It had me wanting, almost needing to keep reading to see what would happen next.  The characters in this book were a great mix.  First, of course, there were the heroes (Ben, Daniar, Erowin, etc) that I just couldn't help but love and hope the best for!  Second, there were the evils villains that I just loved to hate.  Around every turn there was something new and exciting, with unexpected plot twists galore!  The end of the book came with many such surprises, taking the plot in a completely unexpected direction.  It ended with a nice teaser of a possible sequel which, I have to admit, I'd be quick to read!
I give this book 3.5 stars.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Steven Novak Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway!!



Join us for a virtual book tour hosted by VBT Cafe for author Steven Novak!  
Steven is the author of the book, Goats Eat Cans.. 
Remember the weird kid with the greasy hair and the odd smell you went to school with? You know, the one who never talked to anyone? That creepy little jerk who sat alone at lunch? The oddball who never took a shower in gym class? The one you imagined might one day go on a shooting spree?
Believe it or not, that kid grew up.
He grew up, he got married, he never shot a single person, he wrote a book, and he even started taking showers after his workouts – most of the time.
Goats Eat Cans is his story.
Follow along as Steven Novak recounts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes hilariously painful, and sometimes painfully hilarious moments that have made his life so wonderfully frustrating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even vomit. No matter what, you won't be able to stop reading.
Goats Eat Cans features 55 stories, 55 illustrations, 99 luftballons and enough nonsense to keep you chuckling and giggling for days on end – or hours – or at the very least a few minutes.


Schedule for the Tour is as follows:
March 12 - Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe' Blog
March 13 - Interviewed at From The Mind Of Omegia
March 15 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc
March 16 - Guest Blogging at Mass Musings Topic - Writing Humor Vs Fiction
March 20 - Interviewed at Writing Innovations E-Zine
March 22 - Review & Interview at Black Diamond's Books Reviews
March 26 - Reviewed at Hire To Inspire
March 28 - Reviewed at EReading On The Cheap
March 30 - Interviewed at Writing Innovations
April 3 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
April 5 - Guest Blogging with Cindy Vine
April 7 - Reviewed at Rhodes Review
April 9 - Reviewed at Books, Books, & More Books
April 11 - Review & Guest Post at lWaiting on Sunday to Drown
April 12 - Interviewed by Louise James
April 17 - Interviewed at BK Media Entertainment
April 19 - Interviewed at My World by Stephanie Green (here & me)
April 23 - Author Spotlight at AZ Publishing Services
April 23 - Interviewed on KWOD Radio


Grand Prize Reader/Follower Giveaway is:  1 Signed Paperback and 1 Signed Chapter Art Illustration (2 Winners)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: The Stars of The Hunger Games Inside Out

The Stars of the Hunger Games Inside Out The Stars Of The Hunger Games Inside Out by Mel Williams


All about Hollywood's hot new heartthrobs! May the odds be ever in your favour! As The Hunger Games explodes on to our screens, get the low-down on the hot stars of this sensational movie. Find out what they are like in real life, and how they measure up against their characters!
Could Jennifer Lawrence survive in the wild like Katniss?
Is Josh Hutcherson as romantic as Peeta?
Does Liam Hemsworth have a rebellious streak like Gale?
Packed full of fantastic photos and fab facts, this is a must for all Hunger Games fans!

My Review:
I won this book from The Hunger Games Read-Along Contest hosted by Read2Review.  I read through it today and actually enjoyed it quite a little bit.  This "unofficial" guide lists the major characters and the actors who play them in the movie.  It tells a lot of detail about each actor, as well as comparing each actor to the character they play.  It also has a few little trivia questions throughout to test your knowledge of the book (or movie).  I did enjoy reading it and am even more excited to see the movie..  YES, I still haven't seen it!  It's driving me crazy that I haven't gotten to go yet, but I will soon!  
The only thing I had a bit of a problem with was the section on Rue..  It says she's from District 12, and we know that she's actually from District 11.  I'm sure this is a typo and will probably be remedied.  I gave this book 3 stars.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: The Half-Breed Vampire

The Half-Breed Vampire (Sons of Midnight, #3) The Half-Breed Vampire by Theresa Meyers
Ignorant of his true heritage, half-breed Slade Donovan is fated to feel like an outsider among his clan. Until a mysterious woman arrives with the ability to unlock his secrets—and make him crave a future he never believed he could have….As a game warden, Raina Ravenwing has only one mission in the Cascade Mountains: to hunt down a pack of rare wolves that is terrorizing her tribe. Her instant attraction to Slade is a distraction the beautiful wolf whisperer can't afford, unless she agrees to let him help her. Yet working so closely together only intensifies their passion …even as the unfolding truth of Slade's identity threatens everything Raina holds sacred.

My Review
In the beginning of this book, it stated that it was the third in a "series", but I was reading it for a review, so I started it anyway.  I quickly realized I didn't have to read the first two in order to understand the dynamics of it.  The Half-Breed Vampire is about a vampire named Slade Donovan who doesn't have any memory of his life before age 8, when he awoke on the streets alone and injured.  He's paired with a human, Raina Ravenwing, to track  a pack of over-sized wolves invading on her tribes land and stop them.  When they first meet, he's reminded of the police that he learned to almost hate from his time on the streets, and she sees him as the "bad boy" that she always tends to get mixed up with.  They soon realize that they can no longer defy the attraction they have to each other, eventually turning into a few steamy, for adults-only, situations that was so well written, I could almost picture them.  While uncovering the secrets of this rare breed of wolf, they also discovered many secrets about themselves and Slade's past he thought he'd never remember.  
Although parts of the story-line seemed almost familiar, this book had plenty of plot twists (including lifestyle-changing decisions), action and, of course, romance to make it a very enjoyable read.  I definitely plan to read more from Theresa Meyers, and undoubtedly the other books in this series.  
I give this book 4 stars.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday

 

It's that time again!  Desperately Wanting Wednesday.. A weekly post started by Parajunkee about the books we just can't wait to read!  I have a bit of a long list this week!


Rapture (Fallen, #4) Rapture by Lauren Kate

Release date: June 12, 2012
Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.
Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.
For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.
In the fight for Luce, who will win?
The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.
Again, I absolutely LOVE this series!  I still haven't gotten to read Fallen In Love, but I will by the time this comes out!


City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #5)

Release date:  May 8, 2012

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.
No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?
Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
Another of my favorite series!  I can't wait to see what's next for Clary and Jace!!


The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) The Golden Lily (A Bloodlines Novel) by Richelle Mead

Release date:  June 12, 2012

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?
I really loved the Vampire Academy Series, and this is the second book in a spin-off series focusing on Sydney, the alchemist who helped Rose along the way.  I really enjoyed the first book and can't wait to read this one!


Whisper (Riley Bloom #4) Whisper (Riley Bloom #4) by Alyson Noel

Release date:  April 24, 2012
This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for. After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator—Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world. To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?
Again, a spin-off from a series I am in love with:  The Immortal Series.  I have been following Riley since this series started.  They are shorter reads than the others, but worth it.  Can't wait!











Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) Catching Fire (Hunger Games 2) by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.


My Review:
I was so excited to read this book!  I absolutely loved the first one and wondered how the story would continue.  I was not disappointed! In this sequel, Katniss finds herself in the center of a growing unrest in the country.  She begins to realize she has unwittingly fueled a rebellion against the Capitol and although she whole-heartedly believes in it, the stakes are high.  She finds herself confused about her feelings for both Gale and Peeta.  This year's Games are the 3rd Quarter Quell, meaning the 75th anniversary of the start of the Hunger Games.  Every 25 years is a big "celebration" and a new surprise of sorts for the Games, this time is no different and comes as a huge shock to much of the country.  To top it all off, Katniss has to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she is truly in love with Peeta, and soon realizes nothing she does will be enough.
This book is full of danger, suspense and surprises.  I can actually feel the emotions Katniss goes through and feel for her predicament between the two young men in her life.  When the book was finished, I had to force myself to go to bed and not just continue reading the next book!  
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Shameless

 Shameless (Nashville Nights #1) Shameless by Cheryl Douglas

Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.
Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancĂ© who loves her. Unfortunately, her fiancĂ© isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

My Review:
Shameless is about a country music star, Trey, and his ex-wife, Sierra.  They had it all, love, money and a baby on the way.. then tragedy strikes.  They lost their child and somewhere along the way, each other.  She left him.  Fast forward 5 years and Trey has fallen off the wagon, blaming himself for the loss of their child and drowning in the despair of losing his one true love.  Suddenly, Sierra walks back into his life, with a great career and a new fiance and breaks his heart all over again.  Neither can ignore the passion and love that still exists between them, as strong as ever.  
This book is a roller coaster of emotions as we follow them through the ups and downs of struggling with their past, and the feelings they still feel for each other.  There are many twists and turns and by the end, we realize all the misunderstandings and secrets that led to their divorce.
There were many times throughout the book where I was actually overcome with emotion, it made me cry and smile and sometimes gasp or laugh out loud; a piece of art that couldn't have come to me at a better time!  Simply a must-read!
I give this book a solid 5 stars!  Thanks to the author and I'm (impatiently) awaiting the sequel!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) 
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Review:
I can't believe it took me so long to read this book!  I read it in under 24 hrs, and would've been faster if I hadn't had so many "life" distractions, I wouldn't have put it down until it was finished!  I expected to like it, but not LOVE it!
The book is about a girl, Katniss, who volunteers to be the contender in the Hunger Games in order to save her little sister from the fate.  The games are a horrible "punishment" set by The Capitol (their government) and is a fight to the death by chosen children from each of the 12 districts.  There can be only one survivor, which means either she dies, or she kills 23 other kids, all ages 12 to 18!  Among these other contenders is Peeta, a boy who Katniss feels she owes a sort of life debt to already.  We follow her through many trials throughout the games, and her continued confusion over Peeta.
The Hunger Games had me holding my breath many times.. Trying to predict what was coming next, and being surprised at some of it!  It is full of action and suspense, and a great love story that leaves you feeling strongly for both of them!  I can not wait to read the next books, I can't wait to see what happens next and how the story will end!  I recommend this book for everyone!  It's a great story, and the movie comes out on March 23rd!  
I gave this book 5 stars, without hesitation!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hunger Games Read-Along March 10th

March 10th The Hunger Games



About: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

** Amazon UK: The Hunger Games **

** Amazon USA:  The Hunger Games Movie Tie-In Edition**

The Read2Review Read-Along Schedule…

8am – 9am: Welcome post and details of how to participate today and your chance to win a copy of The Hunger Games Novel.

9am – 10am: Reading Time

10am – 11am: Discussion on twitter using #R2RHunger

11am – 12pm: Reading Time

12pm – 1pm: Rebecca Sinclair has donated a set of her amazing digital library which includes the Following: Montana Wildfire, Perfect Strangers, California Caress. The winner will be chosen during this hour so be sure to join us for this. All details will have been anounced on the 8am – 9am post.




1pm – 2pm: Reading Time

2pm – 3pm: Discussion on twitter using #R2RHunger

3pm – 4pm: Reading Time

4pm – 5pm: Picadilly Press have donated 6 copies of their amazing movie tie-in book The Stars of the Hunger Games. The winners will be chosen during this hour so be sure to join us for this. All details will have been anounced on the 8am – 9am post.




5pm – 6pm: Reading Time

6pm – 7pm: Webchat on shindig

7pm – 8pm: Reading Time

8pm – 9pm: Mysti Parker has donated copies of her amazing novel A Ranger’s Tale, in winner’s choice of PDF or Kindle, to EVERYONE who comments during this hour. All details will have been anounced on the 8am – 9am post.




9pm – 10pm: Reading Time

10pm – 11pm: Closing post: a reminder of the details of reading schedule for Catching Fire, announcement of contest winners

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday





This is a weekly post hosted by Parajunkee. I thought it was a great idea and decided to get involved and discuss books that are in this category for me!

I used to be very good at keeping up with the new releases.. I keep the dates in my calendar and always rush out on release day to get the books. Lately, I've been reading so many books (and not reading as often) that I've missed quite a few! Here are some of the books I've missed so far and am dying to read!




Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate

I LOVE this series and have been desperate to read this one.. I had it on hold (I thought) from the library, but apparently I didn't. Then I've been dying to find a break in my reading schedule to fit this one in.. I am determined to read it soon!


Lenobia's Vow: A House Of Night Novella

Again, I love this series.. The novella's are an interesting edition and I love to get more insight into the characters. I have no good excuse for not reading this one, I'm sure it wouldn't take me long.. I just haven't gotten around to it. I vow to do so very soon!


Farsighted by Emyln Chand

I know this one's been out for a bit, but I think it sounds awesome and can't wait to read it. I already have it, thanks to Emyln, but I still haven't been able to get to it yet.




I guess for now, this is enough. There's many more I can't wait to read and some I'm anxiously anticipating the release of, but this will be a weekly post, so I'll get to them!

Happy Reading!!

11 Questions


So, I got these 11 Questions from my friend, Laurel. I thought it sounded like a fun little game and wanted to join in. Here's my answers! If you answer them on your blog, post a comment here so I can check out your blog, too!



1. Two shows you watch every week:  I'm a huge fan of Parenthood on NBC, but I think it's over for the season.  And I love Being Human & Lost Girl on scifi.  I really don't watch much TV, but Monday and Tuesday nights, I HAVE to watch these!  And, of course football (NFL) during the season!




2. Top three places on your must-visit list:  Wow, this is hard, there's so many!  I want to go to coastal Washington State, Scotland (where my ancestors are from), and maybe Greece.




3. Current favorite decorating color combo:  I have always wanted my kitchen to be yellow with a country blue!  I just think it's pretty..




4. Do you use the snooze button on your alarm?  Uh.. yes!  LOL  I actually set my alarm early so that I can hit the snooze!  If not, I'm a grumpy girl!




5. Oldest, middle, or youngest:  Oldest




6. Do you collect anything?  The only thing I collect anymore are books, and I've had to go to ebooks because I've run out of room for print ones!


7. What is your middle name?   Shawn.  I hated it when I was young, because of a boy that I couldn't stand had the same name and he bothered me about it!  I like it now, it's different!


8. What did you want to be when you grew up?  A teacher, when I was really young, and I like psychology when I was older and computers! LOL  The main thing I've always wanted to be was a mommy and I've accomplished that one, and I believe it's my most important job!


9a. Are you city or country?   I live in a small Western Ky county.. I guess I'm both.  I couldn't handle living very far away from "everything" but I like the illusion of the country.  The privacy, but very close to amenities of all kinds!


9b. Tomboy or girly girl?   Very much a girly girl!  Although you wouldn't sometimes guess it because of my pony tails and lack of makeup, but I love skirts, makeup and clothes & shoes in general!  I'm not afraid of getting dirty, but am clueless when it comes to cars, etc.


9c. Talker or listener?   I am a huge talker!  Can drive you crazy even!  But I am a good listener as well, I enjoy helping others.


10. Fancy label for your decorating style?   Wow!  This is hard!  I'd say my ideal style is Comfy Chic, but I don't pull it off as often as I'd like!


11a. What would your friends and family say is your best quality?  I Probably that I care about everyone, and am a go to person when they need to vent or just talk.


11b. Your worst?  I am very talkative.. and emotional.


Well, that's it!  This has been fun, can't wait to see other's answers!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Doxology: Excerpt


Please enjoy this excerpt from the literary novel, Doxology. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

Sunday is Vernon’s wash day. And though he has enough money to buy a dozen of the nicest washing machines known to man, Vernon Davidson washes his clothes by hand. For his washing, as for everything else Vernon does, he has a system. As far as Vernon is concerned, his clothes come out looking cleaner and newer than any machine could get them. He wears all of his clothes during the week according to the schedule he has printed in black marker on the insides of the garments. Five sets of work clothes, three sets to rotate before or after work on those five days, and two sets for the weekend. When he wakes each Sunday and slips off his underwear, his drawers and closet are completely empty. If the morning is cool, Vernon goes out and washes his clothes wearing only a cotton robe. But if any warmth hangs in the air, as it often does by the first of March, Vernon goes out in the yard and washes his laundry naked.

Vernon wakes on the first Sunday in April with a nagging headache. He rubs his temples and lies thinking about Leonard. Finally he shakes it off, opens his eyes and stands up. Though spring is well along, a touch of chill is in the air, so he puts his robe on after kicking his underwear into the giant laundry pile, then goes into the kitchen to start breakfast.

For the last dozen years, since he quit going to church, Vernon starts Sunday mornings with a large breakfast of eggs, bacon, French toast, orange juice and coffee. He could have started working Sundays years ago if he had wanted, just to fill the time, but he never has. Sunday is the only day of the week he eats anything besides fried bologna and cheese sandwiches, which he makes twice a day for himself in the same greasy cast iron skillet he uses on Sundays to make his breakfast.

Once the coffee is going and the bacon and eggs, Vernon walks back into the bathroom. Though he usually doesn’t stop by the mirror in the hallway, this time he does. He turns and looks at himself face on. He opens his bathrobe, stands and flexes the long, corded muscles that still run through his torso after sixty years, pats the flat part of his stomach. In the bathroom he grabs a comb, comes back to the mirror and quickly whips it through his long gray hair. He works the comb through, notes again that he hasn’t lost a single strand. Then he combs through his thick gray beard and fluffs it just a bit. He smiles at himself wide, taps his perfect teeth. Better to turn gray than turn loose, he says to the reflection as he pulls on a chunk of his hair. I’m still looking good.

He goes back to the kitchen, takes his squeezable jar of yellow mustard from the refrigerator and squirts a quarter inch of the oily yellow substance into a glass. Then he unscrews the lid of a bottle of Jack Daniels, smells it out of habit, winces, and pours in three fingers’ worth. His stomach gags, as it often does, with the first sip. Vernon lowers the glass, catches his breath, and raises it again. This time it all goes down, and the bitterness radiates out through the hinges of his jaws, his stomach, the top of his head. He slams the glass down on the counter, proud of his effort. After a minute the sour taste goes away, and the whiskey begins to do its work on the rest of him. Everything starts to settle. By then the food is ready, and he slides it all onto a plate, pours a large cup of coffee, and sits down to eat.

By the time the food is gone, the good part of his drink is leaving him, as it seems to do earlier and earlier these days. He goes back to the kitchen for another round of the whiskey and mustard. Then he clears the dishes from the table and, with the sink already full, puts them on the counter. “Leave those for the cleaning woman,” he mutters to himself. He eyes the mess in the rest of the house, papers all over, dust on the floor. Vernon likes to pretend.

Back in the bedroom, he picks up all the clothes and places them in the proper piles. Then he carries them all to the rear door, steps outside, and looks across the creek running through his back yard. Vernon smiles. Everything in his yard is the deep, rich green of spring, and not a weed is anywhere to be found. He’s thought about planting flowers once or twice, something to break up the single note hue that soon enough will turn to brown. But, though everything outside is as it should be, nearly all color is missing from Vernon’s yard.

Nevertheless, things are looking good on his side of the creek. On top of that, a few days earlier someone showed up while he was at work and cut the grass at the Baptist church camp on the other side of the creek. Funny how things work out. Vernon sold that property to the church fifteen years ago, back when he was still part of it.

The arrival of spring means a lot of things. It means the mill where he has worked for thirty six years will bring some young guys in, guys Vernon will harass into doing his work for him. It means the bullfrogs that sing their throaty songs as he lies in bed at night will be back in tune any time now. And it also means Easter, and the Baptists he loves to terrorize will be showing up for lunches on the grounds at their camp across the creek starting next Sunday afternoon. And when they come, the men to stand around and talk about fishing or hunting over fried chicken and beans, the women to compliment one another on their new dresses, the boys to run around the playground and wear grass stains on their new Easter pants, Vernon will be there washing his clothes in the yard, in all his bearded, gray haired glory, as naked as the good lord made him. And that’s exactly what he’ll say to whichever one of those do-gooder men comes to the edge of the creek to complain about it in response to the shrieking of their children or the pecking of their wives.

“This is the way the good lord made me!” he shouts into the air, shrugs off his robe to the ground and spreads out his arms. Practicing for the first confrontation of the season. He can already picture the guy standing over there, usually Jerry Reeves or Tom Staples or Donnie Lyles. One of them is who they usually send. He just loves to see the looks on their faces as they stand there in their Sunday best, striped or polka dotted choke chains hanging from their necks, trying to look him straight in the face and not to let their eyes wander downward.

They always say the same things. “Come on Vernon, it’s kids over here. Come on Vernon, put some clothes on brother, my wife…” Sometimes they even try to guilt him. “Look at you brother Vernon, look what you’ve turned into, you orta be ashamed of yourself.”

But Vernon Davidson cannot be guilted. Not after what he’s been through. And certainly not after the four or five glasses of whiskey and mustard he’ll have in him by Sunday noon.



As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Doxology eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of Doxology for just 99 cents
Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss, and the healing power of community and family. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: An arborist by day and a novelist in every moment he can steal, Brian makes up stories from the treetops. Visit Brian on his website, Twitter, Facebook, orGoodReads.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Interview: Brian Holers




Please enjoy this interview with Brian Holers, author of the literary novel, Doxology. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

1. Why did you choose to write about characters who set out to rediscover their faiths?

The characters in Doxology don’t really set out to rediscover their faiths—they simply rediscover them when everything else is lost. My two central characters, Vernon and Jody, uncle and nephew, are just living life as the story begins. Jody has a pretty good, interesting life, he has a stable job working for a nice family, he’s in love with the daughter of that family and works for the son and father. He has totally inserted himself into this family, and his life has promise. Only when he learns that his father is dying does he decide to return home, deal with things he has successfully avoided, and discover the great role faith has played in making him who he is. Vernon, conversely, is making his way through life, but just barely; the tragic loss of his son has made him a mere shell of the man he once was, and the greatest joy of his current life is his ongoing endeavor to show his disdain for God. Only when he fails in the one pitiful thing he has left, when he is broken down to absolutely nothing, is a return to faith possible. The story is entirely fabricated, without really a shred of reality, though I can recognize parts of myself in many of the characters. Particularly Jody’s girlfriend.

2. What was the inspiration for this book?

The inspiration for Doxology was the longstanding concept of “my brother’s keeper,” superimposed on the Jewish concept of “dayeinu”. Dayeinu is what Jews say during the Passover seder in contemplation of the many things God has done for us—the concept of “it would have been enough.” “If only God had led us out of the desert, dayeinu, it would have been enough. But no, God did something more.” In 2005, when I finally started writing, I worked on short stories and met twice a month with a group of other writers. When my wife and I decided to leave the country for a year, I figured, well I won’t be meeting with a writers’ group anymore, maybe I’ll just write a book. And I wrote the first several drafts of that book while we were traveling, from a smelly dive-shop hotel in Zanzibar, where I had to drag a rickety wooden table into our room and kick my wife and son out for the afternoon, to a beachfront room in Phuket, to the lobby of a YMCA hotel in Jerusalem, to a coffee shop with stale cookies in Malaysia, where my family and I helped build a Habitat for Humanity house during the day. And really that trip cemented for me the idea that anywhere you go, the stories are the same. We all care most about our families. There are so many good things God does for us.

3. What surprises did you encounter in writing Doxology?


The greatest surprise I encountered when writing Doxology was the way Vernon kept trying to take over. When the story began, it was all about Jody. The problem was, Vernon’s conflict was more immediate right from the beginning—dealing with the death of his only son, his constant drinking and self-destructive behavior. He just kept taking over—maybe Jody’s struggle was so much harder to portray, since he seems to be doing pretty well in his current life, unlike Vernon. I overcame this problem by letting go—I stopped fighting it. I let Vernon take over, and then struggled to really work my way inside Jody, which took a long time. I overcame the problem by deciding the book was going to be done when it was done, and I couldn’t rush it.

4. Why did you decide to become a writer?


I discovered my passion for stories at a young age—I have always been filled with stories. It took me awhile to begin to try and write them down. It also took me a few years to discover that trying to tell people the stories I imagined just made everyone think I was weird (which is a fair assessment) and that I talked too much. I’m glad it worked out this way though—if I had discovered my passion for writing at a young age, I would probably have struggled in a losing battle to make my living that way, and I’d be discouraged and burned out by now. What I discovered instead, in my twenties, is that for a guy so animated by imaginary stories, I’m surprising adept at negotiating the physical world. A dozen or so years of self employment allowed me to strip away a lot of detritus, have a lot of time alone to think. Once, a consultant I hired to help me manage my tree service told me that the world inside my head was more vivid to me than the world outside, and that’s when I decided I had to get serious about my writing.

5. What is the most effective resource you have found for writing?


The only effective resource I have come across to hone my craft is time. And the best advice I received is not to rush. Even when you think you’re done the first or the first several times, put the book away for awhile and come back to it. Don’t rush. I wish I had kept track of how much time I spent on this book—I would guess between 3,000 and 4,000 hours. For one little book! But the advice goes deeper—don’t rush, make a schedule and sit there and write. Give yourself the time and then sit there and do it. If you’re like most of us and have a job, don’t try to commit too much of your day to it. Give it an hour a day, two hours, whatever. Just commit to it. It’s so much easier to come home from work, have a few drinks, go to the bar, and sit and stare at the stories in your head and say “I’m a writer.” You’re only a writer if you’re writing. As for bad advice, I am totally self taught in this craft—the only bad advice I have received is regarding publishing. A lot of people told me even a year ago not to self-publish. However, I have one thing now I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t decided to self-publish, and that is a book.

6. What is your favorite writing ritual?

My favorite writing ritual is to go to my desk at night after my son goes to bed, have my wife put on her headset if she wants to watch TV or listen to music or whatever, just make it very quiet, and sit there until I really need to go to bed.

7. What do you like about writing?

My favorite part of the writing process is the feeling I get each step of the way, which comes from deciding what I can do that day is good enough. Lately I’ve been writing essays. I start with jotting down notes—I write a lot by hand, I think better that way. I’ll write down in my sloppy scratch all the ideas that come to mind on a subject. Then the next session, I’ll organize all those notes, expand a bit, put them all in order. Again, all on paper. Next time I’ll write a draft, and even as I’m writing I know there will be a lot I want to change. Then I’ll print it, make changes, and write again. But I decide each step, and each draft, is good enough for what it is. My least favorite part of writing is that it’s always late and I’m always tired and have to get through it, which I do by setting short-term goals. The greatest of which is brushing my teeth and going to sleep.

8. Why did you decide to self-publish Doxology?


The traditional, old-school publishing world is in total disarray, which is why writers like me have to take things into their own hands. For a lot of us, especially first time or unpublished writers, our hope to be published is simply that, hope. We look at getting a publishing contract as our best chance of being somebody. Now that I’m out here, I have a better sense of how books are sold, and I am here to tell you it is not easy. Possible, yes, but not easy. There are a zillion other forms of entertainment that require much less effort. A publisher really has to sell several thousand copies of your book before beginning to break even. And if you’re just a regular Joe like I am, and nobody’s heard of you, that’s a tall order. Then the other piece is, even if you do get published, you have to do all the work to sell the book anyway. There’s just not enough money in this equation for a publisher to do any real work for you, not until you’ve begun to prove yourself. Personally, as one with good business sense, I like this new model—there is no one between me and all my potential customers—no one saying it’s not good enough, no one saying we can release your book in 18 months.

9. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Advice to aspiring authors—writing may well be the hardest thing you will ever do. At one time I had tons and tons of business debt, customers calling me daily, six highly-paid guys showing up at work every day looking at me for their instructions. I paid through the nose for liability insurance, workers’ comp, and every tool imaginable. Then I waited for the guys to start calling me to say why the jobs couldn’t be done, while I drove around scrambling for more work. All of that was downright easy compared to writing books. But there’s no joy like it. And while I am normal person who has made a lot of mistakes in life, I have found that the more my life is straight, the better my art. The old concept of the tortured writer or tortured artist with various addictions only goes so far. If you want to write clear, clean prose, make yourself as good a person as you can be, and the words will flow. Keep your head up. Be entertained by your writing. Rejoice in the little things. Ultimately writing should be something you enjoy, that gives you passion. I have read that 10,000 hours pursuant to any activity is required to make one an expert, and writing is no exception.

10. What can you say about this book that we wouldn’t learn from the synopsis?

I am grateful to say, Doxology is a beautifully written book, filled with symbols and layers of meaning. It is so much more than I set out to write, and I am proud to say it is so much better than even I thought it would be. It’s not Dostoevsky or the Holy Bible, no, but it is a sweet, moving, inspiring little story of love, loss, and redemption. All told in a Southern accent so thick it just oozes out of the pages.




As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Doxology eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of Doxology for just 99 cents
Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss, and the healing power of community and family. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: An arborist by day and a novelist in every moment he can steal, Brian makes up stories from the treetops. Visit Brian on his website, Twitter, Facebook, orGoodReads.

Guest Post: Brian Holers

Please enjoy this guest post by Brian Holers, author of the literary novel, Doxology. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.


One of the beauties of self-publishing is that the gatekeeper has been fired. In this new world of books made possible by the Internet, no one is left to guard the door. To tell the reader what is what. This state of affairs may introduce an element of confusion for dogmatic readers, but the good news is, new breeds of literature are being created.

Self-publishing allows literature to cross over in new ways. Traditional Christian fiction publishers, for instance, disallow most references to sex, and even the most juvenile profanity. Self-publishing changes this. Not to suggest a writer should ever debase a genre—as writers we are obliged to choose our words carefully. But the old Christian books kept many readers away. “I’m not going to read that. That’s Christian. It’s boring.” Still, nearly every Christian I know periodically swears, fights, and even becomes amorous from time to time. Christians like good stories too, with depth of character, excitement, whimsy, action. The success of a book like The Shack shows the need for stories of real people dealing with real problems, in a faith-based context. It doesn’t even have to be good literature.

As humans, we all look for answers. Stories are stories. Conflict builds to crisis, which leads to a form of resolution. Sure, some people never doubt their faiths, even in the face of horrible tragedy. Others do. Some never ascribed to a faith in the first place, and instead spend their days casting about for a context to this condition we call humanness. The problem with much traditional Christian literature is this; when a character is pushed to a crisis, and the only change we read is “he fell on his knees, then and there, and accepted Jesus into his heart,” that incident may describe a beautiful sentiment, and may have value to a real person in real life, but as a reader, it doesn’t tell me anything. A reader wants details. He wants to see the sweat break out. She wants to hear the thoughts and words that accompany the character’s condition. Literature is literature. We want to see development. We want to get inside the characters. We want to get to know them. That’s why we care. Regardless of the genre label put on the book.

Doxology is a story in between. The book has a religious message; given its primary setting in rural north Louisiana, that message is Christian. But the characters are just people. They experience the same emotions all people do—love, joy, loss. Their conflicts grow and grow until they must be resolved. Like real people, they go astray, take paths of separation from God, or just from what is good for them. They experience desires that can never be fulfilled, want things that can never be had or even understood. They discover the traits in their lives that aren’t working, and set out to find new habits that will work. Many Christian values are universal—a belief, despite evidence to the contrary, that our lives are worthwhile. An understanding that letting go, and learning how little we are in charge, makes life more manageable. A certainty that the kindness and compassion we offer to others is returned to us a hundredfold.

Some say God. Some say the universe. But we all–when we’re honest, and when we pay attention, have a sense of something looking out for us, giving us what we need. Putting people we need into our lives. We give credit for these gifts as we see fit. Good literature promotes a point of view by showing the reader how a character’s modes of operation and beliefs work for her (or don’t). Good literature, whatever its genre, lets the reader inside. Lets the reader do part of the work. Doxology, in this vein, is a story at the crossroad of God and man. It presents God as the characters experience God, and as real people experience God, looking out for them, giving them what they need. Coming to understand how God has been there all along.

Doxology is a love story. Faith plays a role, as it helps the characters find answers and resolution, improves their lives. Like Jody and Vernon and the others, we all look for redemption from brokenness of the past. They and we find it, as people both real and imaginary alike do, in family, friends, productive work, a sense of place, a faith in something greater. Doxology is a story, first and foremost. Its characters face problems. Their conflicts grow. They look for resolutions and ultimately find them, imperfect as they are. We the readers get to know them, and we care. We sympathize. They matter.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Doxology eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of Doxology for just 99 cents
Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss, and the healing power of community and family. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: An arborist by day and a novelist in every moment he can steal, Brian makes up stories from the treetops. Visit Brian on his website, Twitter, Facebook, orGoodReads.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hunger Games Read-Along March Saturdays


Check out Read to Review this month for a read-along and great giveaways!


Read 2 Review are always trying to make some amazing events and interactive things to do with our readers and with the release of The Hunger Games movie just around the corner we are honoured to present our Read-Along Saturdays.

Many people love read-a-thon’s and the last one Kate participated in she actively encouraged people to take part in reading sprints with her. People seemed to really love the idea and it is for that reason that Kate devised three read-along saturdays.

Each saturday will have it’s own contests, discussions, reading time and webchats. 

Please see Read 2 Review for all the details of the schedules and contests!

I Won A Liebster Award!!

Thanks Heather for presenting  me with the Liebster Award!!


The Liebster Award is for "the best kept secret" blogs with less then 200 followers. It's a great way to find new blogs and help others get discovered. I feel honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award! "The word liebster is German for "dearest"


To accept the award you must do a few things:
1) Thank the person that nominated you on your blog and link back to them.
2) Nominate up to 5 other blogs for the award.
3) Let them know via comment on their blog
4) Post the award on your blog




http://randominteruptions.blogspot.com/



So here are my 5 winners:


1.  A Little Ditty ~ Great Variety of Posts
2.  Musings From An Addicted Reader ~ Great romance book reviews
3.  S.M. Boyce ~ Great author blog
4.  Live and Dream A Little Dream ~ Christian book reviews
5.  Dream Reads ~ Great interactive blog