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1.25.2015

Eruption ~ Review

Eruption
By Adrienne Quintana

         They control the world
                             BUT she controls the future...

Jace Vega has landed the job of her dreams.  She's up-and-coming in an up-and-coming tech firm.

But there is a cloud hanging over the future she sees for herself.  She's getting flashes of memories, memories she can't remember.  And the only thing Jace can't remember is the is a period of time when she was kindergarten.

When she finds a advanced piece of Omnibus technology that shouldn't exist she is sent on a path she never saw coming.  Somehow a message from the future has made its way into Jace's hands and she must solve the message that has been sent to her before it is too late.

Not sure who to trust Jace turns to an old acquaintance.  An acquaintance to whom she has been lead to.  But someone knows what Jace has in her possession and they will do anything to get it, even resort to murder.

The past and the future are about to converge in the here and now and how the future unfolds is about to be determined by a few people who have discovered one possible scenario.  But is the future already determined with no chance to change what is about to happen?  Only time will tell...

Eruption is a fast paced, engaging story that will keep you turning the pages until the last page.  Trust is important and one will trying to determine who can be trusted along with Jace.

I highly recommend this book and author to those who love to get lost between the pages of a book. Eruption will take your breath away and leave you wanting more.  I, for one, can't wait to see what comes next and am hoping for a sequel.

This is science fiction yet will appeal to those who aren't fans of sci-fi.  There is touch of romance and a thread of mystery - all-in-all a well balanced story with broad appeal.

I was provided a copy of this book, by the publisher Cedar Fort, in exchange for my honest review and my participation in this blog tour.

About the book:
Information terrorism. Complete network blackout. Global panic. Above the chaos, one company rises to restore order, achieving complete political and military takeover:  Omnibus.
Stanford graduate and new Omnibus employee Jace Vega faces these sobering images, appearing to show her future, when a cutting-edge Omnibus tablet mysteriously falls into her hands.  Reeling from the recent tragic death of her mother, socially reclusive Jace struggles as she carries the weight of this foreknowledge.
When Corey, an acquaintance from Stanford shows up, he becomes central in helping Jace try to stop Omnibus.  But because the plan involves getting close to Damien, the charming, smooth son of Omnibus founder, Victor Trent, Jace becomes conflicted with a barrage of new emotions.  Both men profess allegiance, but she doesn’t know who she can trust.
As Jace wrestles to understand how to change the future, vivid dreams and waking visions unmask her obscured past and her true identity.  In the ultimate test of self-trust, Jace must harness her unique internal power and use it to stop Omnibus.
About the author:
Adrienne Quintana is the second of nine children and has always loved to read. After a mission, marriage, and four children, Adrienne completed her Bachelors of Science and Communication at the University of Phoenix.  In the midst of housekeeping, potty-training, and carpooling, Adrienne discovered that she could still find time to accomplish her a life-long dream of becoming a writer.

1.23.2015

Draw-a-suarus ~ Review

Draw-a-suarus
By James Silvani

Kids love dinosaurs and what better way to spend those hours of free time than learning how to draw them.  This book will teach skills that can be used for drawing more than dinosaurs.

Do you have a favorite dino?  Fans of the Land Before Time series can have fun picking out their favorite and learning to bring them to life with their own paper and pencil.

T-rex? Triceratops? Stegosaurus? Parasaurolophus? Pteranodon?  Learn to draw these dinosaurs and many more.  With more than 150 pages of dinosaur drawings and facts you will soon be an expert when it comes to dinos.  First attempts may be a bit rough and even humorous but in no time at all (well, there will be time expended) you will see an improvement in both your technique and abilities.

Kids (and adults) will learn to visualize shapes as they rough in their drawing, learning to define and detail it as they progress.  Textures are part of the fine-tuning process that are taught in the later part of the book.

Need a something for the kids or grand-kids to prevent boredom?  Want an activity that doesn't involve hours on the computer?  Want to spark their creativity and imagination?  Draw-a-saurus may be just what you're looking for.

Another plus with this book is if you have a reluctant reader who loves to draw or loves dinosaurs this book may give them an added push towards the scary land of the written word.  And when you can learn to master a dinosaur with a pencil words are not so scary.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
About the Book:
This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites. Prehistoric Pencil Power!
Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own? 
Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus,Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!). 

Want to learn more? Check out the following:
More Info (there is a neat video you have to see)
Author Bio

1.21.2015

Hidden Agenda ~ Review

Hidden Agenda
Southern Crimes 3
By Lisa Harris

For the last eight months Michael Hunt's family thought he was dead, killed in an explosion while working undercover.  What they thought was wrong and unless something changes soon Michael Hunt will be dead and his family will never know the truth.

The case that Michael has been working on has him deeply embedded with the cartel.  But his cover has been blown and he finds himself on the wrong side of the cartel and the law.  With time running out his only hope lies with the children of the man he has been gathering evidence against.

Olivia Hamilton can't believe that her father is capable of what she's heard.  But there is a life in danger and she can't wait to discover the truth before acting.  The cartel has influence throughout the region and Michael and Olivia don't know who they can trust.

This is a fast paced suspense that will keep you up reading into the waning hours of the night. Deception has filled their lives and they must work through the layers to get to the truth.  But time is short in this battle for control.  Will the cartel rule the day?  Or will the Hunt family finally be reunited?

Hidden Agenda takes place just days after the events in Fatal Exchange.  And while reading the first two books isn't necessary they provide an important back story so that some of the references are more fully appreciated.  And if you have read the previous Southern Crimes books read them again looking for clues you may have missed the first time around.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.


His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.

Presumed dead by friends and family, Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton--the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.

Lisa Harris is the award-winning author of more than twenty books, including the Christy Award winner Dangerous Passage and Fatal Exchange. Winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times, Harris has spent over ten years living with her family as missionaries in Mozambique, where she leads a women's group and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. Visit www.lisaharriswrites.com for more.

1.18.2015

Wonderful Lonesome ~ Review

Wonderful Lonesome
Amish Turns of Time 1
By Olivia Newport


An Amish settlement is struggling to grow in the harsh environment of 1914 Colorado.  And through the struggles and losses Abbie Weaver is determined that this settlement will survive.  But the hardships continue to whittle away at their numbers.  Illness, drought, harsh elements wear away at many of the settlers eroding their resolve to stay and fight for their new homes.  

But the greatest enemy to morale is the lack of spiritual nourishment.  For over a year the community has been without a church.  They have no minister and surrounding community bishops no longer visit.

Abbie is forced to choose between family or community.  What will she choose?  And when the man she loves seemingly betrays all she holds dear will she follow her heart?  Or will loyalty to a dying community determine her future while sacrificing her dreams?

Change is coming and it may break Abbie's heart more than once.

I was provided an audio version of this book by the publisher through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.


ABOUT BOOK: In a struggling Amish settlement on the harsh Colorado plain, Abbie Weaver refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes, even as families begin to give up and return east. The biggest challenge of all is the lack of a spiritual shepherd and regular worship. When Abbie discovers the root of a spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, she faces her own decisions about what she believes. She must choose between a quiet love in her cherished church, passion with a man determined to leave the church, or imagining her life with neither.


ABOUT AUTHOR: Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado, where day lilies grow as tall as she is. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books.

Forever with You ~ Review

Forever with You
Christy and Todd: The Married Years
By Robin Jones Gunn

Forever With You will delight fans of Robin Jones Gunn's Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and Katie Weldon series.

Christy and Todd are well into the marriage, heading into year 2 when career-wise obstacles and hurdles appear on the horizon.  Facing these challenges is a strain as they have to make decisions that could very well alter the path their lives have been following.

The obstacles that Christy and Todd face brings a new maturity to their marriage that seemed to be lacking when these issues first came up.  This is a time of growth personally, spiritually, and as a couple.  Times of trial can indeed be a time of blessing once we give our fears over to God.

I was provided a copy of this book through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.


About the Book:
Now that they have been married for almost two years, Christy and Todd are facing challenges neither of them expected. Everything that felt familiar in their relationship is being shaken. All they had hoped for in their future together is about to change.
When Christy shares her life-altering news with Todd, she doesn't receive the joyful response she was expecting. Aunt Marti inserts a few strong opinions about how the young couple should navigate this difficult season and when Todd's dad asks for help renovating his Newport Beach home it's clear that nothing will ever be the same for them again.
As Christy and Todd's relationship is radically altered will they continue to drift apart? Or will they come through the major shifts with a deeper love each for other and the One who brought them together in the first place?

About the Author:

"Forever With You", Robin's newest book is available from her Online Shop at shop.robingunn.com. This first book in the Christy and Todd: The Married Years series picks up where the last Katie Weldon book ended.

You are warmly invited to visit Robin's website at www.robingunn.com. Be sure to sign up for the Robin's Nest Newsletter and have a browse in the Online Shop.

Over the past 25 years Robin has written over 85 books with over 5 million copies sold. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

Her best-selling, award winning novels include the Christy Miller series for teens as well as the Sierra Jensen and Katie Weldon series.

The popular Glenbrooke series features eight gentle love stories and her Sisterchicks(R)novels are a favorite among midlife readers who enjoy the emphasis on travel and friendship in the series.

Robin's standalone novels include "Gardenias for Breakfast", "Under a Maui Moon", "Canary Island Song" and "Cottage by the Sea". Her newest release, "Victim of Grace" offers a personal glimpse into her life as a wife, mother and writer.

1.17.2015

Emissary ~ Review

Emissary
Legends of the Realm
By Thomas Locke

Hyam is a young man who has lost everything when his mother dies.  But the truth of what he has lost will not be revealed immediately.  And there is something more - a truth about Hyam that has been kept hidden from him.  A truth that may very well determine whether or not his world will survive or be lost to a powerful enemy that thrives on death.

Called upon by an ancient race to be their voice, Hyam is about to discover all too soon just how powerful this enemy is.  As a result of this encounter Hyam is about to discover new friends and allies in his quest to turn back the evil that has entered the land.

But through it all Hyam is determined to discover who he truly is, but discovery comes with a cost...

But Hyam's is not the only life whose story is brought to light.  For hidden away from the world is Joelle - a young woman whose life is about to intersect with Hyam's destiny.  Joelle is a young woman with an incredible destiny before her if only she can find a way to seize it.  Her chance is coming...

Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis should delight in this new world that is given birth with Emissary. This is a world in which one will want to get lost within the pages.   What has been forgotten must be rediscovered, legends and myths are truths that have been hidden by time.  This is fantasy fiction that is not geared toward the teen/young adult, but rather the adult reader.  That is not to say that the teen/young adult reader won't enjoy this book, because they will.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

If you enjoy Emissary be sure to get the free (at this posting) Legends of the Realm short ~ The Captive from Amazon!


About the Book:
With his twenty-first birthday, Hyam begins a journey that will lead him to his destiny--or his doom.
Hyam has always shown a remarkable ability to master languages, even those left unspoken for a thousand years. But now the shadow of suspicion that was cast upon him as a child prodigy at Long Hall is lengthening, and he must keep his identity hidden--or face annihilation.

As Hyam's mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall before he settles down to farm his land. This journey born from duty becomes an impassioned quest for the truth. War is coming swiftly, and Hyam must rely upon his new found powers and the friends he meets along the way in order to unravel the puzzling past and ensure that he--and the realm--will have a future.

In a world where magic has been outlawed for centuries, one young man discovers that he possesses powers beyond his wildest dreams.

But he does not realize how pivotal this gift will be in the days to come.


Except for the healing arts, magicking is a punishable offense in the realm. The only places it is still practiced are the Long Halls scattered throughout the land--isolated haunts of wizards called mages and their long-suffering students.

But hidden rivers of power course deep beneath theearth, and not everyone has obeyed the edict banning magic. Vixens lie in wait on the Galwyn road. A mysterious race of telepaths comes and goes invisibly. It is even rumored that Elves still hide among the wizened trees. And somewhere beyond the badlands, a growing menace threatens the hard-won peace of the realm.

This young man could stem the ominous tide . . . but only by turning away from everyone and everything he has ever known. And facing dangers he cannot fathom.


Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunnthe award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies. His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. He divides his time between Oxford and Florida and holds a lifelong passion for speculative stories. Davis's screenplay adaptation of Emissary is currently under development as a feature film with a British production company. Learn more at www.tlocke.com.

1.16.2015

Draven's Light ~ Cover Reveal with Excerpt and Giveaway

You know you've been waiting for this, the cover reveal of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's upcoming Tale from the Goldstone Woods.

Well, the wait is over and Draven's Light is about to be revealed along with a little information about the book we've all been waiting for.

BACK COVER COPY: 

In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

Coming May 25, 2015




AUTHOR BIO:

ANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: 
www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com

Excerpt from 
DRAVEN’S LIGHT
By Anne Elisabeth Stengl
(coming May 25, 2015)

He heard the drums in his dreams, distant but drawing ever nearer. He had heard them before and wondered if the time of his manhood had come. But with the approach of dawn, the drums always faded away and he woke to the world still a child. Still a boy.

But this night, the distant drums were louder, stronger. Somehow he knew they were not concocted of his sleeping fancy. No, even as he slept he knew these were real drums, and he recognized the beat: The beat of death. The beat of blood.

The beat of a man’s heart.

He woke with a start, his leg throbbing where it had just been kicked. It was not the sort of awakening he had longed for these last two years and more. He glared from his bed up into the face of his sister, who stood above him, balancing her weight on a stout forked branch tucked under her left shoulder.

“Ita,” the boy growled, “what are you doing here? Go back to the women’s hut!”

His sister made a face at him, but he saw, even by the moonlight streaming through cracks in the thatch above, that her eyes were very round and solemn. Only then did he notice that the drumbeats of his dream were indeed still booming deep in the woods beyond the village fires. He sat up then, his heart thudding its own thunderous pace.

“A prisoner,” Ita said, shifting her branch so that she might turn toward the door. “The drums speak of a prisoner. They’re bringing him even now.” She flashed a smile down at him, though it was so tense with anxiety it could hardly be counted a smile at all. “Gaho, your name!”

The boy was up and out of his bed in a moment, reaching for a tunic and belt. His sister hobbled back along the wall but did not leave, though he wished she would. He wished she would allow him these few moments before the drums arrived in the village. The drums that beat of one man’s death . . . and one man’s birth.

His name was Gaho. But by the coming of dawn, if the drums’ promise was true, he would be born again in blood and bear a new name.

Hands shaking with what he desperately hoped wasn’t fear, he tightened his belt and searched the room for his sickle blade. He saw the bone handle, white in the moonlight, protruding from beneath his bed pile, and swiftly took it up. The bronze gleamed dully, like the carnivorous tooth of an ancient beast.

A shudder ran through his sister’s body. Gaho, sensing her distress, turned to her. She grasped her supporting branch hard, and the smile was gone from her face. “Gaho,” she said, “will you do it?”

“I will,” said Gaho, his voice strong with mounting excitement.

But Ita reached out to him suddenly, catching his weapon hand just above the wrist. “I will lose you,” she said. “My brother . . . I will lose you!”

“You will not. You will lose only Gaho,” said the boy, shaking her off, gently, for she was not strong. Without another word, he ducked through the door of his small hut—one he had built for himself but a year before in anticipation of his coming manhood—and stood in the darkness of Rannul Village, eyes instinctively turning to the few campfires burning. The drums were very near now, and he could see the shadows of waking villagers moving about the fires, building up the flames in preparation for what must surely follow. He felt eyes he could not see turning to his hut, turning to him. He felt the question each pair of eyes asked in silent curiosity:  Will it be tonight?

Tonight or no night.

Grasping the hilt of his weapon with both hands, Gaho strode to the dusty village center, which was beaten down into hard, packed earth from years of meetings and matches of strength held in this same spot. Tall pillars of aged wood ringed this circle, and women hastened to these, bearing torches which they fit into hollowed-out slots in each pillar. Soon the village center was bright as noonday, but with harsh red light appropriate for coming events.

Gaho stood in the center of that light, his heart ramming in his throat though his face was a stoic mask. All the waking village was gathered now, men, women, and children, standing just beyond the circle, watching him.

The drums came up from the river, pounding in time to the tramp of warriors’ feet. Then the warriors themselves were illuminated by the ringing torches, their faces anointed in blood, their heads helmed with bone and bronze, their shoulders covered in hides of bear, wolf, and boar. Ten men carried tight skin drums, beating them with their fists. They entered the center first, standing each beneath one of the ringing pillars. Other warriors followed them, filling in the gaps between.

Then the chieftain, mighty Gaher, appeared. He carried his heavy crescent ax in one hand, and Gaho saw that blood stained its edge—indeed, blood spattered the blade from tip to hilt and covered the whole of the chieftain’s fist. Gaher strode into the circle, and the boy saw more blood in his beard. But he also saw the bright, wolfish smile and knew for certain that his sister had been correct. The night of naming had come.

“My son,” said the chief, saluting Gaho with upraised weapon.

“My father,” said Gaho, raising his sickle blade in return.

 “Are you ready this night to die and live again?” asked the chief. His voice carried through the shadows, and every one of the tribe heard it, and any and all listening beasts of forests and fields surrounding. “Are you ready this night for the spilling of blood that must flow before life may begin?”

Gaho drew a deep breath, putting all the strength of his spirit into his answer. “I am ready, Father.”

Gaher’s smile grew, the torchlight flashing red upon his sharpened canines. He turned then and motioned to the darkness beyond the torchlight.

The sacrifice was brought forward.


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