Monday, May 3, 2010

Review and Tour of The Pitch by Linda J Lord

The Pitch by Linda J Lord

Paperback: 140 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (October 19, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440174539
ISBN-13: 978-1440174537
Rating 4.5/5

When I was first approached to review The Pitch and discovered it dealt with business lessons I was a bit leery because my first thoughts were oh no this is going to be BORING! Then it also had soccer in it which I am also not a very sporty person so I just knew I was gonna hate it but I decided on a whim to take a chance on it figuring even I could make it thru a short 140 pages.

I was so wrong because from the first page I could not put it down and read it in one sitting! Linda has done a remarkable job of giving some sound business advice and weaving it into a fun work of fiction!

The story is about a tired soccer mom whose event planning business is going down the drain and she is having a hard time making ends meet. She realizes she doesn't even like the business she is in but needs to get it productive in order to sell it for a nice profit so she begins picking up tips from her sons soccer coach and applying them to her business.
******  *******  ******

Interview Q & A

The title of your book is The Pitch was does the title mean?

The pitch is where the game of soccer is played; the pitch is the field. What Liz learns
from there, she is able to apply on her playing field − her business. Also, in business,
the ‘pitch’ is what gets people to buy, so it is a play on words in a couple of ways.

The Pitch draws on my experience as a soccer mom. Strategies used to be successful
in soccer and very similar to strategies used to be successful in business. Such
strategies include: getting in touch with who and what matters to you most, because
until you do that, you are just going through the motions, and maybe building the wrong
empire; having a plan that provides a structure to follow during strong economies and
soft ones; taking to time to evaluate the choices you make and whether or not they are
based on sound business information or just expediency.

At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us
your call story?

I have always been writing something. Most of the time I write for stage. I wrote a selfhelp
book titled, 31 Days Toward Maximum Living, back in 2001, but I never really
promoted it.

Tell us about where “The Pitch” is available.

In The Pitch, a business fable written by author and performer Linda J. Lord, we follow
the powerful story of Liz, a struggling single mother whose business is in steady decline.
To turn her business around, Liz relates the concepts learned at her son’s soccer
practices, but how will she balance her effort to save her business with trying to save
her relationship with her son?

Linda captures our imagination with the fictional story of Liz and Justin and then adds
the power of direction and possibility by coupling fiction with sound business coaching.
She paints a picture of possibility for other struggling business owners. Linda creates a
place for business owners to consider their strategies and reflect on ways to improve
their companies. There is no better time for this book than now, when so many business
owners are struggling find meaning and direction. This fable fuses a compelling story
with realistic struggles and a series of instructions for improvement. The Pitch is
available on Linda’s website, Amazon and on the iuniverse website.

So let’s help some struggling women business owners get started here. What is
the first thing you need to do to grow your business?

Make sure that you want to own a business and that it’s not simply a career option;
then ensure that you will be working with your strengths (talents, and gifts) most of the
time. You can create the business to serve you and the needs of your life; you don’t
serve the business. Being strategic from the beginning enables you to make a living and
still have the time and energy to have a life.

Describe your writing in three words.

Practical, entertaining and applicable.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote the Pitch because stories help us to understand our experiences and to imagine
how we might handle the presented situation. Liz’s story is not uncommon. Many
business owners start businesses without a plan and without much preparation; then hit
a wall in terms of growth or even struggle to survive. I wanted to present the material in
a non-threatening way so business owners would be receptive to it. I had people
comment that they had started to implement the same things Liz did as they were
reading the book. That may have never happened if I had simply written a ‘how to’ book
because there wouldn’t have been the connection between Liz and the reader.

Who is your intended audience?

My first audience is the female business owner who is juggling work life and home life.
My second audience is the male business owner who is juggling work life and home life.
Both genders can relate to the challenges of making a living and having a life.

How does this book benefit the reader?

The book provides a succinct blueprint for struggling business owners that saves them
research time, makes reliable recommendations on what to do, and serves to
encourage and motivate.

Review Copy Provided by Publisher/Author


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: No Hope For Gomez by Graham Parker

No Hope For Gomez by Graham Parker
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1432752480
ISBN-13: 978-1432752484
Rating 5/5

This was a hilarious story about poor Gomez Porter. Nothing ever seemed to work out how Gomez wanted it. Even his name was chosen on a whim when his parents simply could not agree on any one certain name.

Gomez becomes a test subject in a drug trial and falls in love with the assistant who also in turn falls in love with him but then one of the test subjects turn up dead and another missing and Gomez afraid he may be next hides out and tries to piece together just what is going on.

A quick and totally laugh out loud book!
Review Copy Provided by Author

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Rock Stars by David Grant

Rock Stars by David Grant
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: (November 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0557182409
ISBN-13: 978-0557182404
Rating: 5/5

Oh my Gosh if you were a fan of 80's rock and metal bands then this is a must have book for you! It took me back in time to days gone by of all my favorite rocker bands, David Lee Roth and Jon Bon Jovi and wow many many more. It highlights each band separately and gives insight into their past and present. An awesome memerabilia piece to have!
Review Copy Provided By Author

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Black Smoke by Robin Leigh Miller

Black Smoke by Robin Leigh Miller
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Cerridwen Press (January 22, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419960237
ISBN-13: 978-1419960239
Rating: 4.5/5

Samantha Wells has lived through more hell in her short life than most. At the age of eight her serene life was turned upside down. Her parents were brutally murdered and Sam barely escaped with her life. But she didn't do it alone - a soft calm voice led her to safety, the voice of her spirit guide. Disguised by a black mask and the handle Black Smoke, with the help of her spirit guide Sam rescues those unfortunate people who find themselves in the hands of humanity's worst. Life is good until Sam is called on to assist a small covert military team in recovering a kidnapped scientist in Afghanistan. Lt. Mark Lowe (Kong) is less than thrilled to be placing his team's lives in the hands of a woman, much less one as beautiful and sexy as Sam. He quickly learns there is more to this woman than meets the eye. She not only infiltrates enemy bases - she's infiltrated his heart. Kong retreats to safer ground, leaving Sam heartbroken. Distant and unwilling to listen to anyone, Sam delves headfirst into a hell that only Kong can pull her from.

My Review: With a sprinkling of the paranormal and a strong kick ass heroine Black Smoke was an explosive read! Not an easy book to put down it never wavered on plot and had an incredible set of characters. Leaves you yearning for more!
Review Copy received from Author

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Small Change by Sheila Roberts

Small Change by Sheila Roberts
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (March 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031259447X
ISBN-13: 978-0312594473
Rating 5/5

I absolutely loved this book and am anxious to read more of Sheila's books now! I think this one will hit alot of folks close to home with the economy being so bad right now and everybody struggling to just get by.

It's the story of 3 neighbors each with a slightly different finacial situation who join together to form The Small Change Club. "Still recovering from a miscarriage, Tiffany Turner is a shopaholic who becomes frantic when her out-of-control credit card spending prompts her husband, Brian, to leave her. Rachel Green is a struggling divorcée with two children who's just lost her teaching job and professes to not need a man until she meets Chad Alvarez. And stay at-home wife and former musician Jess, when informed by her banker husband that he might lose his job, wonders if she can be a rocker chick again."

Review Copy Provided by Author


Friday, April 2, 2010

Yoplait Greek Yogurt Bath Set Giveaway

I am so excited to tell you about an awesome review opportunity I had to tryYoplait Greek Yogurt! From My Blog Spark I received a gift pack which included: 2 VIP coupons, a bath robe, bath slippers, and bath tools!
Awesome facts about Yoplait Greek Yogurt

•12g of protein - 2x that found in leading yogurts
•0g fat
•Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Calcium
•Gluten Free
•Available in 4 delicious flavors: Plain, Honey Vanilla, Blueberry, and Strawberry
I love Yoplait Yogurt and decided on trying the Blueberry  and Strawberry flavors and they were to die for! Sooo rich and creamy!  The blueberry was the best as it tasted a bit sweeter. Although I did enjoy the Greek, I still think I prefer the regular Yoplait Yogurt over the Greek but fully intend on trying some of the yummy recipes using the Greek flavors I found on the site. 
Click HERE for a 30 cent off one cup coupon here and try it for yourself!
"To celebrate its new Greek yogurt and to encourage women to nourish their inner goddess, Yoplait has teamed up with actress Izabella Miko, who plays Greek Goddess Athena in the epic adventure new Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ film “Clash of the Titans,” in theatres April 2 in 3D."
The most exciting news is Here is your chance to win! Yoplait and My Blog Spark is offering one lucky Jen's Book Talk Reader  a Yoplait Greek yogurt "Nourish Your Inner Goddess" gift pack which includes 2 VIP coupons.
***All you have to do is be a follower of this blog and goto Yoplait Greek and make a comment in the comments below on which one of the yummy recipes you would like to try and which flavor Yogurt you'd try first. Please leave your email address!  Contest ends April 14, 2010
Giveaway is for US (excluding California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee; due to their dairy laws ) residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen.
The opinions are my own and were not effected in any way. I received a "Nourish Your Inner Goddess" gift pack with 2 VIP coupons from Yoplait and My Blog Spark to facilitate my review.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allan

Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allan

Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426702272
ISBN-13: 978-1426702273
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: "Leah Thornton’s life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice in the supermarket shatters the façade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears. When her best friend gets in Leah’s face about her refusal to deal with her life, Leah is forced to make an agonizing decision. Can she sacrifice what she wants to get what she needs? Joy, sadness, and pain converge, testing Leah’s commitment to her marriage, her motherhood, and her faith."

Review: If you only read one book this year this would be "the one". I was really taken aback that a debut book could make one feel all the emotions I felt while reading this. It's far more than a novel on alcoholism addiction but more so on a reawakening to ones life. If you've ever felt pain/depression/or addiction to the point that if you ignore it maybe it will just go away....then this is for you. Awesome story!
Review Book Provided by Author

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: VAMPYRE BLOOD by George Earl Parker

VAMPYRE BLOOD by George Earl Parker

Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher:, Inc. (February 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160910112X
ISBN-13: 978-1609101121
Rating: 4/5
This is so totally NOT your everyday Dracula book! In fact in this humerous rendition, Dracula wants to end his evil ways and be a "good" guy! After one of many attempts on his life by the villagers and forever getting his home burned and having to start over anew he makes a wish with a wizard and falls into a deep sleep for 150 years. Upon waking he is offered a position in a goth band where he can travel the world and thus ends up saving a dying lawyer which makes a whole new string of events!

I really enjoyed reading this. I must admit when I originally picked it up to read I thought it would be alot like all the other supernatural reads one encounters about vampires and the like but found it interesting that it rides more on human survival and wants in a more modern world.

Review Copy Provide By Author

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop

Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345515986
ISBN-13: 978-0345515988
Rating: 3.5/5

Letter to My Daughter was a quick read and begins with a 15-year old who had an argument with her mother, words were spoken, the mother slapped her, and she stormed out. Which is pretty typical teen behavior now a days. Then the rest of the book is a letter the mother writes to her daughter explaining how she always said things would be different with her and her daughter than they had been for her and her mother and how sometimes the best of intentions still dont make that so. Then she tells about her own life at 15.

This was an okay read and has loads of great things going for it. I felt it was a wonderful debut novel and so cool to be written from a man's point of view but would of liked to have had more in the story about Liz, the runaway. Maybe that will be picked up in a later novel. I would definately read more from this author!

Review Copy Provided by Author

Review: Raccoon Tales by Joy DeKok

Raccoon Tales by Joy DeKok

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Jabberwocky Books (February 15, 2010)  
ISBN-10: 1935204092
ISBN-13: 978-1935204091
Rating: 5/5

This is a wonderful childrens book filled with fun facts about our furry friends, the raccoons, faith-filled verses & rhymes, and beautiful illustrated pages! Divided into small sections it breaks down all that is needed to help tend to the babies for the first year of their lives. I think this book would be enjoyed by anybody who has a love for animals. The ending was kinda sad when the babies were old enough to go back into the wild but it helped to demonstrate that it's not always easy to do what is right.

Review Book Provided by Author


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review:An Axe To Grind by F. M. Meredith

An Axe To Grind by F. M. Meredith

Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries (January 29, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1892343789
ISBN-13: 978-1892343789
Rating: 4.5/5

I loved this book from the first few pages! Nothing like a good decapitation to get the vibes and imagination rolling! Doug and Stacy are trying to plan a wedding but between working their own individual cases, (both are cops) trying to nicely get Dougs friend Gordon to move out from his home so he and Stacy can live there when married, and her family really not all that into him they have their work cut out for them. Doug follows a lead on his own and winds up missing with Stacy desperatley trying to find him but could she be too late when his MG is found in a lagoon at the college campus?

This was my first book from F.M. Meredith but I hope to go back and get all the Dark Oak Mysteries and get caught up on what has happened to this point. Very easy dialogue and interesting plot lines!

Review Copy Provided by Author

Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: The Cutting by James Hayman

The Cutting by James Hayman
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031253129X
ISBN-13: 978-0312531294
Rating 3/5

Synopsis: "When a missing 16-year-old is found with her nude body showing signs of torture and her heart removed with surgical precision while she was still alive, the violence of the crime has Portland, Maine, detective sergeant Mike McCabe recalling his days with the NYPD. The case takes on greater urgency with the abduction of another women and the discovery of other similar victims, all young, blond, and athletic."

My Review: At first I didn't think I was gonna like this book at all because of the opening. It had a brief dose of animal cruelty in the first few pages and being the huge animal lover I am it just sort of turned me off a bit. I'm happy I went back to it though because what a great serial thriller it was!  There were a few patches in the middle that dragged a bit and I was a little dissappointed that when the storyline skipped over to the killer the passages were so short.  I would of loved to have had a better interaction when it was "his turn".  For the most part I enjoyed reading The Cutting and plan on reading more from James Hayman but it's still really hard to believe this is a debut book!

Review Copy Provided by Author/Courtesy of Pump Up Your Book


Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Dog's Inspiration to a Writer and the World

A Dog's Inspiration to a Writer and the World: How the Life and Death of a Golden Retriever Might Save Us From Ourselves

By Michael Cogdill,

Author of She-Rain: A Story of Hope

  On the morning of May 29, 2008, I lifted Savannah from her bed, carried her to the car, and made the longest seven-mile drive of my life. At the office of a veterinarian, welcomed by that profession's unique form of love, I soon lay on a cushioned floor beside a golden retriever who showed virtually none of her age, watching both my hands stroke the face that had welcomed me home for thirteen years.

The answer to a yearning awaited us that morning. It was part of the quiet covenant I made with Savannah the day my wife, Jill, and I adopted her. When a sweet dog's bloodline comes in confluence with our own, we human animals take on a sacred devotion. As sickness comes on hard and takes down the joy of living, caring dog owners are committed to shouldering our beloved family member to a merciful death. On the floor that morning, I answered Savannah's courageous outreach for that death, allowing her to carry me. The peace that arrived in her final breath lifted the tide of my heartbreak. As I nearly drowned in sadness, Savannah showed me to the shore of a graceful goodbye.

Later that day, a prominent friend in Hollywood, fresh from the same grief in his own family, shared with us some comfort, but also a spiritual yearning of his own: Why would God measure the lifetime of dogs, and other animals we love, by a virtual hourglass when we live by a calendar? Why so little time on earth for those so good and loyal? It seems a cruelty.

After these months of healing, and the reporting of countless human tragedies on television, I've arrived at a conclusion: Savannah's too-short life, like that of all sweet dogs, calls us to a fine urgency dogs get after big living. They seem illiterate of worry, yet able to read joys that elude us. They quietly shout to us: Wag your backside to music instead of your tongue to malice. Wallow less in pity and more on the bed of the one you adore. Give yourself, extravagantly, away.

I still fail her, of course. I live too much in my worries and sorrows and too little on the joy path she wore for me. Yet in these times of media-saturated human disaster, a thought of Savannah improves me as a man, recalls me to life as a writer. Her memory sets off some musing about the hope found in the life and death of a good dog. See if these truths make the news of your times easier to bear:

Savannah feared nothing about death. She went to it with eyes full of gratitude for the way her life had been. Her eyes seemed to draw from some deep well of love, way beyond the crust of words. Even in her final hour, sick as she was, she lived as a divining rod to this love. No matter how I tried to comfort her, sheserved me -- right to her last moment. The kidney failure that was stalling her life was no match for the servant's heart within her.

The high pitch of biased media, politics, and the vitriol of social debate held no allure for Savannah. She made grace her way of life. She ran from loud voices and bounded to gentility wherever she found it. We could trust her to be tender, even with the smallest child. Savannah taught me there's nothing so powerful in this life as a truly gentle woman or man.

There is no vanity in such dogs. They split mud holes, then track adoration across the floors of the humans who forgive them. They surely wonder why we care so much for things and so little for helping one another have simple wellness and fun. Savannah never cared for the size of my car. She simply loved the ride. She measured none of my money in how she valued me. In times of my sorrow, she made certain to place her head under my hand, letting me read a sense of all-will-be-more-than-well in its Braille.

With the too-often forgotten elderly in a nursing home, Savannah visited with no consciousness of herself. The sights and smells that repulse too many humans never seem to repel a good dog. Something innate about Savannah longed to care for everyone. She never appraised anyone by their politics, religion, or race. No human bloodline or job pedigree held any sway. Savannah treated the ignorant as kings and the malicious as queens. Even avowed dog haters valued what they found in her, and she loved them without pause.

Such a dog will forgive to the point of endangering itself. Some may argue enough hatefulness will turn any dog, even the most generous and kind. Perhaps this forms a caveat to us as well. Maybe good dogs teach us we will eventually draw back what we put into the world. Or is it that forgiveness becomes a form of capital we spend to the great shock of our enemies, an investment from which we draw the interest of turning enemies into friends? After every trip to the vet, on the heels of cavity exams every sane creature loathes, Savannah forgave Jill and me. We never had to ask.

In the afterglow of thinking of her, I adore considering how living so might change humankind. What might the news look like if everyone were so devotedly kind to everyone else? My job -- as a writer of news and fiction -- would so beautifully change.

Within an hour after putting her into that permanent sleep, I sat weeping at our kitchen table and wrote an open letter to Savannah. It let my grief out to run, with the memory of her a comfort at my knee. I leave you with a passage of it here, and a wish that the news of our future days will improve, changed in some small way by the legacy of Savannah.

"You tracked to the child who lives in me always. In this man you found a boy who loves you, sweet girl. Even in death, somehow you will always lead the boy in me home. I will follow your trail. And together, in the grand wet and muddy fun places of memory, we will be glad."

© 2010 Michael Cogdill, author of She-Rain: A Story of Hope

Author Bio

Michael Cogdill is blessed as one of the most honored television storytellers in America. His cache of awards includes 24 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement, from live reporting to long-form storytelling. His television credits as a journalist include CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and The Today Show, and Michael's interview history crosses a wide horizon: The Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Abby Hoffman, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Howard K. Smith, James Brown, Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops and many other newsmakers. His coverage credits include Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States.

Michael spent ten years writing She-Rain, letting it evolve into a world of fiction drawn from his upbringing in Western North Carolina but reaching far beyond. His other writing credits are Cracker the Crab and the Sideways Afternoon -- a children's motivational book, and a self-help volume, Raise the Haze. Michael makes his home in South Carolina with his wife, Jill (a publishing entrepreneur), and their second-generation golden retriever, Maggie. He's currently working on his second novel.


Review: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416978917
ISBN-13: 978-1416978916
Rating: 4/5

This was my first book by Elizabeth Scott but I know it will not be my last!  I read this in almost one sitting! It's basically the story of a love triangle between two girls and a guy but interestingly the girls are best friends!
Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend but it's really complicated because Sarah, Brianna's best friend, liked him first and Brianna just sort of assumed there was no way he could actually like Sarah over her so she basically just took him! 

Brianna has this complex idea she is God's gift or something and things she rules the world.  She is a snotty nosed brat if you ask me because she lashes out and puts folks down even Sarah but does it in a way like it's innocent.  I definately recommend reading The Unwritten Rule whether a new or old fan of Elizabeth Scott!

Review Copy Provided by Author/Courtesy of 1ARC Tours

Monday, March 8, 2010

Review: The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter

The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Dial (April 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803734689
ISBN-13: 978-0803734685
Rating: 3.5/5

This is a hilarious middle age level story about a young witch, Abbie Adams who tries hard to keep her witch self a secret from her friends and classmates but it's really hard when she has to keep freezing time to keep her little brother Munch from doing some silly things like trying to eat his teacher!

Their father has developed a new idea that he thinks will help witches to be immortal again but it's having some weird side effects and then there's Benjamin the kitty dad brought home that they have been beggin for for a long time but there is something very peculiar about this kitty kitty and nooooo I'm not gonna tell ya what it is! lol

Very quick and easy to read. Loved it!

Review Copy Provided by Publisher/Courtesy of Other Shelf Tours

Friday, March 5, 2010

Congrats to the Giveaway Winners!


Congrats to all the winners!  Please email me with your shipping address at  Please put Contest Winner in subject line.
All winners have until midnight Sunday to contact me or I will draw a new winner.

Hasta la Vista, Lola Winner


The Moon Looked Down Winners

06--Simply Stacie
10--Cheryl F (The Lucky Ladybug)


Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bantam (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553807218
ISBN-13: 978-0553807219
Rating: 4/5

Emily's mother passes away leaving the teenager alone but soon to discover she has a grandfather she never knew of in Mullaby, North Carolina and he has agreed to be her caregiver so off to Mullaby she goes.

She has many questions but is met with resentment from most of the towns folks and her grandfather doesn't seem to want to talk about her mother. A neighbor, Julia, befriends her and tries to help her to fit in but it's really hard when your having to live down your mothers sins she later discovers.

Julia has issues of her own she is trying to work out and by helping Emily it distracts her a bit. She inherited her fathers diner after he passed away and returned to town herself and vowed to only stay long enough to get it doing well enough to sell and she was out of there but things dont always go the way we think and wounds heal while she is there and old love tries to be rekindled but will it be able to withstand all the secrets?

And then there's Win Coffey whose family has forever lived in Mullaby and who has a long time secret of their own that destroyed his uncle while he was involved with none other than Emily's mother before she was shooed out of town so many years ago.

This story is full of secrets, love, and even a bit of magic and I enjoyed it all! It was beautifully written and easily shifted from scene to scene. All the characters were strong and believable. I truly hated for it to end.

Review Copy Provided by Author


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reviews: Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606840347
ISBN-13: 978-1606840344
Rating: 3/5

This is a story of friendship, love, same sex relationships, jealousy, and rumors. A nice list of things until you mix them all together.

A rumor gets started that Tara's boyfriend, Brent, has been having sexual relations with a male teammate and she cant deal with it so she asks for a time out from their relationship. Now this is what I thought the book title meant by stupid is that she would just assume a rumor like that to be true especially after she had been dating this guy for like a year or more?

While they are on a timeout a new girl comes to town and it appears as though Brent may have an interest in her so Tara's friend Whitney Blair rises to the rescue and threatens the new girl to back off that he is taken, but then when Tara also takes an interest in the new girl the crap literally hits the fan in alot of ways!

Overall I enjoyed the book and loved how the author divided each person up into their own chapters when the story shifted to them. I feel like she took some touchy subjects and addressed them in a tidy, easy to understand way while still being realistic.

Review Copy Provided by Publisher/ Courtesy of Other Shelf Tours

Interview: Linda Poitevin

Today I have some interview questions/answers from a wonderful author and a sweetheart of a lady; Linda Poitevin.  Linda lives just outside Canada's capital, Ottawa, with husband, three daughters, a dog, two cats, a rabbit, and a Bearded Dragon lizard. She cans and freezes her family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits, and crochets! A very busy lady indeed!
Thank you for the interview and kind words Linda! {{Big Hugs}}
Q: What if you woke from a dream to realize you were a character from your book knowing everything that happens in your book -- who would you be and why?

A: Is there any question? Lol! I would absolutely choose to be Gwyn – who wouldn’t? Gareth is a totally hot Hollywood star who is mature, sexy, secure in himself, and ready to commit (though he doesn’t know it yet!). Knowing what happens in the book and that he’s going to…and then he’ll…oh, I would SO definitely be Gwyn! J

Q: Would you make any changes in the story?

A: As the author, my first inclination is to say no. And if I were Gwyn? Still no. I think Gwyn is a lot like me, believing that everything happens for a reason. If one thing were to change in the story (or in my/her life), it could affect everything else…and knowing how the story turns out, I absolutely wouldn’t want to change a thing!

Q: Would you choose to stay inside your own story and carry out the rest of your life or would you like to "wake" up again in your "real life"?

A: Lol – questions like that are so unfair! I think it would totally depend on the kind of day I was having when you asked me, because there are some days….

Seriously, though, I think I’d like to wake up again in my own life – in spite of its ups and downs – because I like who and where I am. Although I must admit it would be tempting to lose a few years off my age…except that would mean going through all kinds of life experiences a second time around…so nope, my life definitely wins. J

Plus there’s the whole Hollywood aspect to consider…it’s one thing to write about a character dealing with being in the spotlight like that, and quite another to live it myself!

Q: Can you give me a quick overview of your current project? I believe you’re working on a paranormal next?

A: My work in progress is a dark paranormal suspense with strong romantic elements – a series, actually (I hope!). The first book is complete and sitting with my agent, who is waiting for me to polish and send the synopsis for the second book before she starts the submission process. The story takes place in today’s world but draws heavily on angel mythology – I’m really excited about it and have already started the second book.

Q: Can you share an excerpt with us from A Fairy Tale for Gwyn?
A: I’d be delighted – here’s one no one else has seen yet:

He rose from the couch and raised his hands over his head in a slow stretch. “Thank you again for dinner, and for coffee. I hope I didn’t keep you from anything too important.”

Gwyn didn’t think much could be more important than watching a thin denim shirt strain across a broad chest, but neither did she think it wise to say so. She simply smiled and shook her head. “Nothing at all,” she said, and trusted that he wouldn’t hear the slight strangulation in her voice.

She uncoiled her feet and leaned forward to put her mug on the trunk. When she straightened up, she found Gareth’s hand extended to her. She hesitated, exhaled shakily, and then put her own hand out and let him pull her to her feet, inches away from the broad shoulders she’d just admired—along with all the rest of him.

No amount of reasoning with herself could make her raise her gaze to his. Long seconds ticked by, alive with electric expectation. Gareth cleared his throat. “I should go,” he said, his voice low and husky.

A tremor twisted through Gwyn’s belly. She stared at a button at eye level on his shirt. The one that marked the beginning of an open vee that exposed a glimpse of dark hairs. “I know.”


She inhaled sharply at the rough sound of her name. Gareth’s fingers tightened for an instant on her own, then began a slow slide up her arm to her shoulder, around to the nape of her neck. A strand of hair, not her own, brushed her cheek. Gwyn closed her eyes.

“Mommy, my head hurts.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (April 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061799254
ISBN-13: 978-0061799259
Rating: 3/5

An enjoyable read but I cant help feeling that it lacked something that I can't put my finger on. I really think I had higher expectations than the book delivered.

The main character, Joy, was plum annoying and ignorant. If ever I could reach out and touch someone I'd like to reach thru my pages and smack her one or two times. At first I felt sorry for her because it appeared like her sister always ruined her life so to speak but then she just developed this holier than thou attitude like it was all about her and I totally turned my sympathy to the "bad sister".

I dont think the book was without some merit though. I did enjoy the family interactions strange as they were and I did appreciate how the two sisters came together at the end each having a better understanding of what the other was feeling and going thru.

Review Copy Provided by Author/Courtesy of Around the World Tours.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Guests: Angelica Hart and Zi

BY: Angelica Hart and Zi

Angelica Hart and Zi are writers published by Champagne Books.

In all romances there is that moment when sex finds fruition, that instant when all the tug and pull, the laboring through emotional upheaval and external complications finally finds its way to culmination. It does happen. Sometimes the reader has to wait until nearly the end of the story, but then there it is, the reward, the prize in the cracker jack box called a romance novel. We cannot and will never trivialize that. The challenge for the writer is to make the reader want to be a page turner voyeur. This has to be accomplished by getting one to root for the story's couple to share lovemaking, but also for the reader to want, crave, and desire the outcome as much as the hero and heroine, to have a stake in their lives, and at times to relate to the situation in that they nearly meld with one of the characters, experiencing all there is to experience. But as important as is that, it is also crucial to make that scene interesting. The same old same old must never feel as if so. The act in of itself would be simple and maybe boring if not dressed in all the luxurious trappings a writer's imagination can provide. We want to put the fiery desire into those moments. We owe it to characters and the readers. So how?

"Would you like to
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err with her
On some other fur?"
- (author unknown)

The afore poem was written about Elinor Glyn a 20s writer of torrid love stories. My Grams watched the soaps and she call them her stories. "Got to get done so I can watch my stories," she'd say, or "Run out and play during my stories." She'd grab a cup of coffee and a snack and sit in the big chair, losing herself to the scenes unfolding in a way that made her part of the characters' world. She loved the edgy.

We are lead to believe that Glyn found a certain amount of sensuality having the feel of fur on her skin. We are in a time where toys and kink are becoming more and more commonplace, and the usage of them is no longer a hidden secret. There are even fetish parties that play out just like a Tupperware party used to be demonstrated with a group of ladies in someone's home. We most certainly believe that traditional love making holds a profound import not just because of the grandness of all sensations but those sensations begin in the largest sex organ the brain. But there is much to be said that spicing up the act can be good. Perception of what is exciting varies from person to person and catching segments of that perception is what stirs readers, encouraging them to devour the scenes.

We as a society get our paraphilias, our sexual arousal, from a variety of sources. Glyn in the 20s was not vanilla but she is very much so in this day and age. We live in a world of adventurous lovers.

Our role if we use such fetishes is to give them value within the relating, because at the end of the day when you tally up the score, it is not the color of the condom on the talliwacker, or whether they score, but truly the honest exchange of emotions that facilitate meaningful physical expression. All the other paraphernalia and erotic action is just fun.

Our proclivity is spicy hot vanilla. That is apparent in KILLER DOLLS and stretched toward rare uniqueness in SNAKE DANCE.

What would you like in love scenes found in your favorite genre?

Our release KILLER DOLLS is a wonderful romantic thriller based in bio-terrorism. SNAKE DANCE which is about to be released is a sci/fi-fantasy adventure romance placed in a unique culture. CHASING GRAVITAS is a gentle paranormal romance which provides an unfolding mystery.

The Story:

On the planet Starling wRen defies her heritage so she can be with VeIper, an outcast bent on freeing his species from ethnic cleansing. Mong, a slayer, quells their ambition as he plots the subjugation of wRen and the death of VeIper.


With lithe movement he followed that scent, in wavy patterns slipping one way then the other catching it at its greatest strength. Coiled, flexed, and slowly rose ever so little as not to be seen, and saw for the first time in his short life something that gave him a shiver to his soul, rattling, and he noticeably trembling. This was not chills of fear, no, but a far different emotion. The full magnitude of this he could not discern but it was there like tiny flickers of fire bursting under his skin.
There captive in his gaze was a female, white and peach toned, similar to others yet nothing at all alike. She stood out against the natural background of color as if apart from it, and yet she somehow was all of it. Her face held an intricate balance of beauty and emotion. It was as if you could see the swirl of them real and raw with no apology for them. Her body held the lushness and enticement of her kind, but the enticement was somehow different. It was as if her curves had been sculptured just for his hands; as if her breasts and buttocks would fit perfectly into his palms; as if her flesh would respond instantly to the trace of his fingertips and as if her lips would curve into his with perfection. Their fingers would entwine naturally, the tender spurt of her pulse would match his.


Their combined accomplishments include book publications in print and/or electronic versions of twenty-four titles, fifteen romance specific, ten manuscripts pending, EPPIE finalist for three books, Cecil Whig award, Hob-Nob Reader's Choice Award, written over 500 shorts with numerous published in both nationwide and small press magazines, articles published in various local, city and statewide newspapers, including four as a Guest Columnist in addition to trade articles. Both are members of various writing groups.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010

KILLER DOLLS and SNAKE DANCE can be purchased at
Champagne Books


Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: Double Trouble by Susan May Warren

Double Trouble by Susan May Warren
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 11, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414313136
ISBN-13: 978-1414313139
Rating: 4/5

I have really found a passion for books/series such as Double Trouble here lately with women PI's especially the comedic ones with the heroine always getting into tight spots and having men fighting over them for one reason or another.

This is the second book of the series and while it can be read as a stand alone I do suggest reading book one, Nothing but Trouble, first so you'll have more background into the characters and all.

In this story PJ is hired as a stand in look a like for a material witness while she is hidden away until the trial. Add in a marriage proposal, a sulky sister, and some new Russian family to the mix.

Review Copy Provided by LitFuse

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Giveaway and Review: Hasta la Vista, Lola by Misa Ramirez

Hasta la Vista, Lola by Misa Ramirez

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (February 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312384033
ISBN-13: 978-0312384036
Rating: 4/5

This is Misa's second Lola book and if you enjoy Stephanie Plum then you will love Lola because she is a saucy little PI in Sacramento, Calif that tends to get into some funny spots just like Stephanie.

Lola is working late one evening and returns home to a wake. Come to find out it's her own wake! Everybody is led to believe she is dead after a news reporter on television says so.

Turns out to be a huge case of stolen identity and now Lola has to set things straight, but that will be a big task that includes finding out who the dead lady is, why she stole Lola's identity, finding a missing child, putting up with Lola's ex Sergio, and trying to convince her grandma she is alive and not a spirit! Good thing she has her boyfriend Jack for help and support!

This was a great book full of fun and laughs especially Lola's crazy family! I Look forward to more adventures in this series!

Review and Giveaway Copy Provided by Author

If you'd like to win a copy of this wonderful book just leave a comment below. Giveaway ends February 28. No emails will be sent. Winner will be posted on blog.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review: The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440245095
ISBN-13: 978-0440245094
Rating: 5/5

Carla not only brings forth an awesome debut novel but one that really made me sit back and ponder over the "what if's" It's a book of real life horror/terror as a pandemic of the bird flu breaks out and the pandemonium that unfolds each day that goes by.

This is the story of a broken family that ultimately has to put aside their issues and join together for the good of the family thru a horrible deadly time. As each day goes by conditions worsen with the virus spreading all over, food supplies dwindling, neighbors against neighbors, losing all phone and electricity, and ultimately leads to murders and thievery just to survive.

I really enjoyed this book because it was so real and a horror that could actually happen to me. It made me want to run out and stock up on food and supplies. In all truth it scared me.

I'm sitting on nerves wondering what Carla's next book will be! Bring it Carla! You got my attention!

Review Copy Provided by Author/Publisher

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Giveaway: The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock

The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 23, 2010)
"Sophie Heller's family immigrated from Germany to Victory, a small town in Illinois, before WWII began. Now that the war has affected the town, the townspeople discriminate against Sophie and her family. When a train derails, it is an accident but the Heller family is blamed. Coming to Sophie's rescue is a teacher from the high school, and despite their cultural differences, a romance starts to bloom. "
Thanks to Anna at Hatchette Book Group I have 5 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway to you guys! Giveaway is only open to residents of US and Canada    Sorry :( 
Just comment below if you'd like to be entered for a copy and the drawing will be on March 5.  You will have until midnight March 7 to respond to me with mailing information or another name will be drawn.
No emails will be sent!  Winners will be posted on blog!
Good Luck to all!