Archive | September 2012

Review & giveaway: The Master of Whitehall by Rick Veal

The Master of Whitehall by Rick Veal will always be very special to me.  It is the first signed book that I have ever received so it is pretty exciting!

Let me start out by saying this book was awesome!  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from reading the back cover and I was pleasantly surprised.  In The Master of Whitehall we are introduced to college student Katelyn.  Her life is disrupted when her parents die a terrible death, and she has to move in with her Aunt ‘Chele and start a new school.  She moves into student housing and meets her new roommate Lexi and she can tell right away that they will be bestfriends.  As they embark on their new friendship, Katelyn is fascinated by a guy that often hangs out on campus and owns a beautiful property, James.  There is just something about him, and Katelyn wants to know what it is.

Katelyn is thrilled when James approaches her and asks if her and Lexi want to see Whitehall.  Of course there is no way she is going to turn down that offer!  From this moment, Katelyn’s life will change dramatically.

Will James be able to answer all of the questions that Katelyn has?  Is he going to be there for her while she is going through everything in her life?  Will Katelyn and Lexi be able to remain close?  You will just have to read the book and find out!

I loved this book.  It gave a totally new spin of vampires and what we typically expect from them.  Katelyn’s character was written so well.  I loved how Veal conveyed her strength and personality.  Lexi’s character was also fabulous.  There were definitely times I felt that I could relate to her.  There is also plenty of romance, and boy is it steamy!  I definitely recommend The Master of Whitehall to anyone that loves YA or paranormal romance!

Rick was nice enough to let me ask him some questions.  Keep reading to see his answers!

What inspired you to write this story? Why did you choose  vampires?

I think my inspiration actually came from running out of  books! I have read for many years and enjoyed most of what I’ve read. I’m a big  Anne Rice fan … Go Lestat! … So when I finished all the vampire books I could … Rice, Smith, Harris, Craine … I decided that if they could write a vampire  story, then so could I; so I wrote my own. I chose vampires because I have  always enjoyed reading and watching movies about vampires I was actually hooked  by Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows” way back in 1966.

How did you find your inspiration for  Whitehall?

I wanted a setting in the Low Country of South Carolina  with a lot of history surrounding it. Whitehall was a long ago plantation  outside of Charleston and is now nothing but ruins. The tour I was on when I  found it said that nobody really knows what happened to it … it just went away.  That opened all kinds of ideas for some ‘what-if’s’ and so Whitehall was  reborn.

Why did you decide to write through the eyes of  Katelyn?

I actually wanted her  to tell the story. It just seemed that it would be more interesting from her  point of view to modern readers. It became an interesting experience. I think  the most challenging part of writing through a woman’s eyes is having to stop  and think about what, how, and where she would say something. Sometimes just  getting Katelyn’s perspective correct, not only as a woman, but as a young woman  with limited life experiences, was extremely thought provoking. I have spent a  lot of my life around women so it was a little less difficult. There are the  special times when I had to stop and think and ask myself would/should she  really do this or say that? Fortunately, I have a lot of female friends of all  ages that I was able to call on for advice and answers.

How did you come up with Katelyn’s character traits? Is  she modeled after anyone? What do you think are her best and worst  traits?

Katelyn is a compilation of traits … I think that she is  the best and worst of a lot of people. She really has no ‘real-life’ opposite.  Like all of my characters, Katelyn was born, full grown, in my mind, and I just  let her tell me her story and take me where she wanted. Her best trait is that  she trusts and loves those around her, often putting them ahead of herself. She  would never treat them wrong. I suppose her worst trait is that early in the  story, although thoroughly modern, she is almost naïve and a little childlike. I  credit that to her youth and upbringing. That trait seems to be going away in  her after she turns … she just doesn’t put up with anything from any “bad  guys”.

What is your favorite quote from the  book?

I just giggled at the thought of that scenario and  cuddled closer to James saying, “That certainly gives a whole new meaning to the  term ‘Virgin Vampire’, doesn’t it?”

How long did it take you to write this  novel?

I think it took about 18 months from initial idea to  publication.

Are you working on a second one? If so when will it be  released?

Yes, I am. The second book is  tentatively going to pick up about a year and a half after the ending of the  current story. I am currently working on some notes, outlines and  different story lines, to see just which way it goes. All the characters will be  there and I have a new character that wants to be introduced. I really don’t  have a release date just yet … this is still a hobby … but it is in the works. I  have a feeling Katelyn isn’t finished telling her story just yet …

What is your favorite writing environment like? What is  the hardest part of writing for you?

I like to sit in my rocking chair with the laptop propped  on my knee, in the early morning, usually between 3 and 7 am. It’s quite and  easy to listen to my characters talk. Writing the story is the easiest part … I  just listen to the characters, and put it on paper … the most difficult part is  editing it and making it flow smoothly throughout.

Aside from writing, what else are you passionate  about?

I love to read … when  I get lost in a story, I can go anywhere in the world I want to go and enjoy  myself.

More news from Rick Veal:

The most exciting  thing right now is that “The Master of Whitehall” has been picked up by a movie  producer for review and consideration. Having to be patient and wait on that is  difficult, but I hope that it moves along successfully.

 A message from the author:

If anyone would like to keep up with James, Katelyn and the rest of the  family, I’d like to invite them to drop by Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/master.whitehall or my Deviant Art page at http://rickveal.deviantart.com/ to see all the artwork and read detailed backgrounds and  bios for each of the characters. “The Master of Whitehall” is available in a  signed/inscribed print edition (trade size, 396 pages, $19.99) or a fully  illustrated e-book in pdf format for $5.00 directly from me. I can be contacted  at author@prtcnet.com for further information. If any of your reader’s mention  this interview, they will receive a 10% discount and free shipping on the print  edition, approximately a $5.00 value. It is also available in Kindle format at  Amazon http://  www.amazon.com/dp/B0086YRR80

 *Rick Veal is also doing an AMAZING giveaway.  Trust me when I say you DO NOT want to miss out on this one! Check out the Rafflecopter below to see all the fabulous goodies up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2012. 11 Comments

Review of The Godling Chronicles: The Sword of Truth by Brian D. Anderson

This book pulled me in from the very beginning.  We are introduced to young Gewey a farmer who takes care of the farm his father left him after his death.  He is about to learn there is much more to his future and a lot about his past that he never knew.

Gewey is about to begin quite the quest, along with one of his adopted father’s good friends Lee Starfinder.  As they make their journey, Gewey will encounter many different kinds of characters including an elf.  He is going to have to battle the Dark Knight in order to keep the kingdom safe and retrieve The Sword of Truth. Does Gewey have what it takes?  Can he conquer all of the challenges?

This was an awesome book by a father and son team.  I don’t normally read these kinds of books, but there was just something about this one.  I found myself holdong my breath as I turned to pages and cheered Gewey on.

The characters were very well written.  I felt as though I knew them and Anderson created a clear picture in my head.  I would definitely recommend this book.

I can’t wait to read the next one!

And guess what?  Brian has decided to give away 3, yes you read that right, THREE ecopies of this amazing book!  Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter!

Here are Brian’s links:

***** a Rafflecopter giveaway

(This book was given to me free for an honest review.)

This entry was posted on September 24, 2012. 2 Comments

Virtual Book Review Tour: Lakebridge: Spring by Natasha Troop

Blurb:

Vermont, picturesque and lovely, attracts visitors from across the country in search for the perfect picture, the perfect fall foliage or perhaps a taste of maple syrup. Stansbury is best known for the odd covered bridge that spans Stansbury Lake and goes nowhere, connecting no roads and serving no known purpose. The locals call it the Lakebridge. Very few know of its mysterious origins and fewer care to know more. Those visiting the town perhaps take a few snapshots and leave, their curiosity quelled by an uneasy feeling that they shouldn’t think on it anymore.

The tourists will eventually leave Stansbury, but its residents strangely linger, seemingly held captive by a force they barely recognize. They also do not think about the town’s mysterious artifact much except in passing, all but Gil, his father, Ben, and a few others. They know of the bridge’s dark history and understand that it is responsible for every horror that ever befell the people of Stansbury: the people who fear the bridge but will not speak of it. The bridge makes people do things – bad things – so that it can continue to love and care for them all.

Some have tried to destroy the bridge, but as long as the bridge is fed with the lives of the innocents of Stansbury it will go on – loving the people of Stansbury.

Lakebridge: Spring is the first of a four book cycle revolving around Stansbury and the Lakebridge.

This book was written differently than any book I have ever read.  While most books revolve around just a few main characters, this one revolved around almost everyone in the town.  I really enjoyed the way that Natasha tied them all together.

I would give Lakebridge: Spring 5 out of 5 stars.  If you are looking for an awesome read with a lot of mystery, horror, awesome characters, just the right amount of humor and a great story than this book is for you!

Excerpt:

For a while, he thought he would take the Counter Girl. He had always taken the Counter Girls before when he could, but when he stumbled onto this Teacher Girl, he knew he had to have her, that she would make a much better addition to his project. She was so happy and so right. The Counter Girl, for as much as she smiled and made other people happy, didn’t really have that glow about her that the Counter Girls usually had. He figured it was because of her friends who were so damaged. She was damaged by association.

 

But the Teacher Girl. She was perfect. She could have been a Counter Girl, really. She was always so joyful, she made all the kids so happy, too. Everyone loved the Teacher Girl. He loved the Teacher Girl. When he loved them, he knew he had to have them.

 

She wrote on her board. She wrote her numbers and her letters and her handwriting was so neat. He wanted to let her finish so that when they came in the next day and she wasn’t there, at least they would have her numbers and her letters. So he waited and watched her. He was in her room and she didn’t even notice. She was too happy for her own good, she didn’t even feel the danger. He hated that he was her danger because he loved her so much and knew that she could never see how pure that love was. But, finally, she was done. She turned around and saw him and smiled.

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Natasha grew up in Southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Comparative Literature. She also holds Masters Degrees in both Secondary Education and Creative Writing. Natasha currently lives in the Phoenix area with her spouse, son, daughter and menagerie of pets, including a Basset named Moose and a very overprotective collie dog. Aside from writing, she spends her days teaching high school students to love theatre.

Links

Website: www.lakebridgecycle.com

Blog: http://stansburyvt.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @lakebridgecycle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lakebridge-Cycle/197939536908880

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lakebridge-Spring-1-Natasha-Troop/dp/1461122503/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1304040910&sr=8-1

 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lakebridge-natasha-troop/1101557345?ean=9781461122500

One lucky commentor from the tour will receive some maple syrup and a stuffed moose!  Take a second and leave a comment below for a chance to win!!

This entry was posted on September 18, 2012. 11 Comments

Tour Stop: Heroes Live Forever by Chris Karlsen

 

BLURB:

 

Elinor Hawthorne has inherited a house haunted by the ghosts of two medieval knights, Basil Manneville and Guy Guiscard. Basil is the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor. She falls in love with him and he with her. Basil soon realizes she needs to live a normal life, a happy life with a mortal.

 

A lifetime later fate intervenes. Basil, still in love with Elinor, is told her spirit lives on in a young woman and he is given another chance at life to find her.

 

Excerpt

 

Although she’d at times experienced the impression of déjà vu, the encounters left her feeling unsettled. Ian Cherlein was a stranger to her. This inexplicable, powerful sensation of familiarity for him bothered her more than the other déjà vu situations.

 

Author Bio:

 

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

 

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

 

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream.

 

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Leave a comment and you will be entered to win some awesome prizes!  Chris is giving one lucky commentor from EVERY tour stop a digital copy of her thriller “Golden Chariot”. One lucky commentor from the tour will also be chosen to win a $50 Amazon giftcard! 

 

 

Links:

http://www.chriskarlsen.com/index.html

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/chriskarlsenwriter

http://pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/

 

This entry was posted on September 17, 2012. 14 Comments

Review of Rift Healer by Diane M. Haynes with a giveaway!!

The wonderful Diane Haynes gave me a copy of her book Rift Healer in exchange for an honest review.  I was thrilled that I accepted.  The book was awesome in a can’t put it down kind of way.

As we start Rift Healer we are introduced to 14 year-old twins Haley and Lacey.  They spend the summers at their grandmothers house and spend the weekends during the summer with their father.  During the summer before the book starts, they started working with a woman named Giselle who begins teaching them different types of magic.

As the new summer begins, Haley and Lacey will learn how much the forest truly needs their powers and skills that they have been taught.  They will also find out that they need to learn a whole lot more if they are going to be able to save the forest.

We also meet Micah- Giselle’s great nephew, Selena- Micah’s distant cousin, and Taylor- Lacey’s boyfriend.  These three characters will all play very important parts in the story.

This book was truly awesome.  I felt as though i was right along side with the characters as they learned new abilities and faced difficult battles.  I would definitely give it 5 stars.  I am curious to find out what will happen next in Haley’s life.  So yes, I will definitely be buying the next one when it comes out!

Here is a little about Diane M. Haynes

After years of punishing his body with drink, my forty-eight year old brother Rick was found

dead by my mother on April 1, 2004. We were surprised, but not shocked as we . We grieved his

loss and carried on.

Seven months later, on November 16, I woke from an amazing dream about three kids sitting in a

meadow. Before them rested a crystal-filled treasure chest, surrounded by pastel-colored balls of

light, which I knew to be fairies. When one of the fairies disengaged from the crystals and landed

on the girl’s cheek, the kids were enthralled–as was I.

As I outlined the dream on a bedside notebook, I realized it was my brother’s birthday. Over the

next few days, I wrote a twelve page short story. But I soon became dissatisfied, thinking that if

this was what I thought–a Spirit Gift from my brother–then I should put a lot more effort into it.

So I created a timeline, designating the fairy circle scene of my dream as the climax. I hand-

wrote my book–that’s what I called it now–through the winter, sharing a floppy disk with my

typists. I researched, developed characters, a back story, tension and a few lighter moments.

Things were great.

Until June, 2005.

Nearing completion, I hit The Wall, lost my Muse, my momentum and couldn’t write another

word. Couldn’t even pick up my notebook. Over the next four and a half years, I lamented my

‘almost finished’ novel and the waste of my brother’s gift.

Enter Twilight.

I wanted nothing to do with the latest craze, the foolish fad. I hate vampires–too creepy. Those

fan/addicts were just plain nuts but of course, I had to see what the fuss was about. In February,

2009, I began reading Twilight with the expectation that I’d be bored after one chapter and toss it

in the trash. Alas, for good or for evil, I loved it. I put the word out and the next day, my friend

Karen showed up with the other three books. I ended up buying my own copies and read the

series back to back three more times before I came to my senses.

I’m getting to my book, honest.

After finishing Breaking Dawn for the third time, I had an epiphany. Stephenie Meyer wasn’t

writing anymore and I needed a change of focus. I would finish my book, once and for all. On

April 1, 2009, I found all six notebooks containing my novel, dusted them off and got to work. It

took only two weeks to write the few chapters I needed.

While taking a couple of days to celebrate the completion of my first novel, I began thinking

sequel, so I invited friends over to brainstorm. Great ideas flew from all directions but it wasn’t

until a few nights later when on April 28, I got into bed and said to no one in particular, “I have

to wake up with a plot.” The next morning, I knew exactly what to write.

The next two months sped by, words pouring out of my pen almost non-stop. On June 29, I wrote

THE END. Many, many edits later, I entered a publishing contest sponsored by Crescent Moon

Press. Although I didn’t win, they offered me a publishing contract, which I signed on Rick’s

anniversary, April 1, 2011.

Click the link below to enter to win a copy of this awesome book!

*******a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review of Armageddon Wars: Selah by Walter A. Martin

Armageddon Wars: Selah takes us way into the future.  World War V has been fought and our main character Praxton is hoping that there can finally be some peace on Earth. There are some startling events ahead of him though, and he will find out if he is up to the challenge of saving the human race or not.  I can’t really say too much more without giving away some really important parts in the book!

This was a quick read for me.  Martin wastes no time at all jumping into all the action.  It was hard to put down because I just needed to know what was going to happen next.  There were some parts where I felt that the book jumped around too much, but it was easy to get past.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys sci-fi, military books, and stories about the apocalypse.

About Walter:

Walter A. Martin is a current student at Cleveland State University. He has been taking film as a major with a minor in anthropology for the past four years. He is expected to graduate with his bachelors in December of 2012. He is planning to start working in the film and writing industries as a professional filmmaker and author after graduating school.

Walter has worked on a dozen short film projects and has worked on one full feature film called, “Dying 2 Meet You.” He also is the author of the novel “Night Strike” and has written two short stories.

He currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio where he is finishing up the last stretch of his college career.

Links to buy:

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Armageddon-Wars-Selah-ebook/dp/B008A3NBKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347160866&sr=8-1&keywords=armageddon+wars%3A+selah

Barnes and Noble

http://www.amazon.com/Armageddon-Wars-Selah-ebook/dp/B008A3NBKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347160866&sr=8-1&keywords=armageddon+wars%3A+selah

As always, if you purchase this book make sure you “like” it on Amazon and leave a review!

Review of If I Could be Like Jennifer Taylor by Barbara Ehrentreu with a giveaway!!!!

The other night I began reading If I Could be Like Jennifer Taylor by Barbara Ehrentreu.  Having read so many paranormal romance books recently, this one was a breath of fresh air.  Not that I have anything against paranormal romance, it was just nice to have a change.

If I could be Like Jennifer Taylor introduces us to freshmen student Carolyn Samuels.  She is far from popular, overweight and often times the brunt of jokes at school.  There is one girl, Jennifer Taylor, that has made Carolyn’s life hell all through middle school.  As the first day of high school arrives, Carolyn doesn’t even want to go to school because she doesn’t want to deal with Jennifer.  In the end she has to go of course and it appears Jennifer has not changed at all.

Of course they are in the same math class because they are both in honors and they have gym together since it is scheduled alphabetically.  As Carolyn sits in gym on the first day, Jennifer gets back to her old games and begins teasing Carolyn.  Carolyn has a fainting spell and has to be taken to the nurse.  Jennifer escorts her, but if Carolyn wants Jennifer to keep this embarassing situation a secret, it will cost her.

She agrees to do what Jennifer asked her and pretty soon she is in over her head.  Was being popular really worth all of the trouble and lies?  How long can she keep lying to her true friends?  Is it possible that Jennifer isn’t really as bad as she thought all of these years?  Is her crush really paying attention to her?  How does Jennifer stay so thin?  Is she hiding anything?

Carolyn will get the answer to all of these questions before the year is over.  Her life is going to change immensely during the process.  Will she be able to remember to breathe and be able to make it through?

I loved this book.  It was an easy and entertaining read.  Ehrentreu addresses a lot of serious issues in this book.  From bullying to other things. (I don’t want to give too much away!) It was very nice to see these issues brought up.  Unfortunately, even though they happen in every single school on a daily basis, they are often ignored.  Reading this book will really make you pay special attention to the little things going on around you.  The end of the book definitely gave me some closure as well, which I love.

I would recommend this book to everyone, but I would especially recommend it to young girls.  It covered so many issues that the young ladies of today face, and I think it could definitely help some of them to face their problems.

Great job on this one Barbara!  I don’t have any daughters of my own, but I will definitely be recommending it to my friends daughters!

Barbara Ehrentreu has been nice enough to offer up a copy as a giveaway.  All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of the page and you can enter to win!  You don’t want to miss this one!

Links:

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=203&category_id=120&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Could-Like-Jennifer-Taylor-ebook/dp/B005NWRLL6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317986863&sr=8-1

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-could-be-like-jennifer-taylor-barbara-ehrentreu/1105870667?ean=2940011508004&itm=1&usri=museitup+publishing+and+if+i+could+be+like+jennifer+taylor

Barbara’s Meanderings

http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/

Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/07/22/red-river-writers-live–tales-from-the-pages-with

NY Literature Examiner for Examiner.com

http://www.examiner.com/x-33746-NY-Literature-Examiner~topic575176-book-reviews

********** a Rafflecopter giveaway