Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom Excerpt

The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom is a Mature NA Romantic Comedy set in England (and is full of British charm and humor!). We're excited to present you with the cover, an excerpt and a giveaway in anticipation of the release of this fantastic book on September 25th!

The Uni Files: Year One- The Art of Letting Go by Anna Bloom
Due to Release September 25th, 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing
One year. One woman. One
Diary. One question: can you ever stop history from repeating itself
and if you could what would you do to stop it?
When Lilah McCannon
realises at the age of twenty-five that history is going to repeat
itself and she is going to become her mother—bored, drunk and wearing a
twinset—there is only one thing to do: take drastic action.
Turning her back on her old life, Lilah’s plan is to enrol at university, get a degree and prove she is a grown-up.
plans go, it is a good one. There are rules to follow: no alcohol, no
cigarettes, no boys and no going home. But when Lilah meets the lead
singer of a local band and finds herself unexpectedly falling in love,
she realises her rules are not going to be the only things hard to keep.
the academic year slipping by too quickly, Lilah faces a barrage of new
challenges: will she ever make it up the Library stairs without having a
heart attack? Can she handle a day on campus without drinking vodka?
Will she ever manage to read a history book without falling asleep? And
most importantly, can she become the grown-up that she desperately wants
to be.
With her head and her heart pulling her in different
directions can Lilah learn the hardest lesson that her first year of
university has to teach her: The Art of Letting Go?

Find the book: Goodreads

About the Author:
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer
who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after
two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni
Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining
kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.
Find the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Last night.
By the time there was a knock on
my door, I was ready and completely geared up. I enhanced my normal minimal
makeup routine with smoky eyes and lashings of eyeliner. The crazy fuzz cut was
managing to look quite funky. I could not guarantee it would hold.
I am rewarded for my efforts by
Meredith dropping her drink all over the floor and Beth announcing very loudly
that she may fancy me after all. I cringe at her loud voice, shushing her with
my hand, which they both think is hilarious.
“Don’t worry, Lil, he has already
walked over with Jayne. You would have heard them leave had you not been so
busy singing. “
“Bite me. “
“You look lovely, Lilah,” Meredith
says, seeming very sincere, and I give her a big hug.
I should own up to the fact that I
have had a few sneaky drinkies in my room whilst getting ready.
We head out of the door and run
across to Digby. Well, I totter, but at a reasonable pace despite the
As we push through the doors, I
have the immense satisfaction of seeing Ben, who is sitting in the corner,
choke on his beer. I give a little half-interested wave of my hand,
acknowledging that I have seen him, and saunter over to the bar.
Trev gives a low whistle when he
sees me, and proceeds to give me a drink on the house.
Blimey! Who would have thought
that getting dressed up would have had this much effect? I should have done it
ages ago. There is a DJ playing, but as yet there is no one on the dance floor,
so we stand at the bar and make girly chitchat.
Jayne comes over from her table
and high fives me. “Well done. Lilah! The whole football team wants to give you
a shot. “
I blush furiously and swat her
away. Shame for them, there is only one member of the team from which I would
be open to offers.
After a while, Tristan arrives. He
actually spends so much time on campus I don’t know why he does not enrol and
just study here as well. He gives me a wink as he leans in to say hi.
“Going all out, Lil?”
“Better believe it,” I respond
with a wink of my own.
I feel completely amazing. For the
first time in my entire life, my confidence is at an all-time high. I grab a
drink and start mingling around, greeting people I recognise. It takes them all
a moment to register who I am, and then I get a lot of hugs. It's great, but
then again it's a bit worrying. Do I walk around looking like scruffy moose the
rest of the time? The only person who doesn’t come and speak to me is Ben. I
maturely decide to ignore this. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the
blues flash as he watches me talk to a couple of the guys from History class.
Ha! Stick that, sucker.
Five vodkas later and the Lilah
dancing machine is out in full force. There are not that many people on the
dance floor but I don’t care. I dance away quite merrily until I realise that
the room is spinning rather a lot. I try to slow my pace but the room is still
spinning which makes me realise that it must be my head and not the crazy dance
I am performing.
“I am going out for a smoke,” I
tell Meredith, who is doing something I would rather not witness with Tristan
on the dance floor.
Outside, I lean against my tree
(yes, it is mine) and merrily smoke away. As I smoke I start to sober up a
little bit. What on earth am I doing?
My whole reasoning for the day begins to make no sense to me at all.
I don’t want to get back together
with Ben because I want him to go to the States and have his great career.
It was me who suggested being
It is me who has enjoyed the last
week of being friends and the casual flirting that has been simmering under the
It is me who knows that eventually
I am just going to have to let go of him being a part of my life.
So why the fuck am I dressed up to
the nines attempting to get his attention?
By the time I am on my second
cigarette, leaning against the tree with my eyes shut, I am feeling like a
complete idiot and just want to go back home and get changed into my comfy
jeans and a hoodie.
I feel a hand slide down my arm. I
don’t have to open my eyes to know who it is. I would know that touch anywhere.
“What are you doing out here,
Lilah? It is freezing. “
I don’t bother opening my eyes,
but wave my cigarette in the general direction of his voice, hoping I don’t set
his hair alight.
“Look at me,” he says, his voice
soft and very close to my ear.
I open my eyes and meet his.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” he whispers back

Participate in the Read-Along! Anna Bloom and other bloggers are hosting a read-along for this great book from September 27th to October 13th.  Be sure to stop by for all the details and to sign up!


In celebration of the release Anna Bloom is giving away a $20 Gift Card, open worldwide! You can choose which place you'd like it to be for since Amazon isn't available everywhere. 

Please read the terms and conditions at the bottom of the rafflecopter before entering.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Skeleton and Dust By Rhiannon Paille Blog Tour

Skeleton and Dust by Rhiannon Paille
Ferryman and The Flame #0.5

Expected release date- October 13
In the First Era, before Kaliel and Krishani fell in love, Tor runs. He escapes the Land of Kings and the tyrannical Valtanyana. In the depths of Tempia he forges weapons-- The Flames-- strong enough to oppose the Kings he betrayed.

Aria, The Amethyst Flame, cannot touch the living or the dead and her kin are silent ghosts. Hidden in a cairn deep in the haunted forest, Aria becomes obsessed with the Ferryman, the only boy who can feel her touch.

Before Aria knows it, The Flames, The Ferryman and Tor are swept up in the first war against the Valtanyana.


Moments passed in silence as Skeld purveyed the land, seeming to memorize every last detail. He turned to Aria as he continued floating down the path towards the field with the flower shaped lake. When they reached the crest of the basin he glanced at her. “What do you know about Tor?”
Aria shrugged. She had been thinking of asking him the same thing. Tor was a mystery cloaked in armor and gifted with a sheen sense of peculiarity. She couldn’t explain him. “I don’t know anything,” she said softly. She descended the hill, keeping in line with the uppermost part of the basin, as they crossed to the haunted forest. “I suppose he’s worried.”
“About the hunters?”
“Is that what you call them?”
“They are hunting him are they not?”
The corner of her lips quirked up as she ducked under the first branch in the forest. She went to reach for Skeld to tell him to avoid getting tangled in the branches but her hand moved through his and she pulled away, gasping as he shuddered.
“You are an unnatural thing,” Skeld exclaimed, but his tone was gentle, bewildered. Aria felt a pit in her stomach. She twisted her toe in the ground and twirled one a stand of long white hair in her fingers.
“Tor said I was a Flame. Do you know what that is?”
Skeld shook his head profusely. “No child, I’ve never heard of them. On Tempia we are peaceful, we tend our crops, we feed our children. We don’t look for trouble. You…you are trouble.”
Aria looked at the ground, littered with ferns and flowers the colors of the rainbow. “I didn’t mean…”
Skeld straightened himself out and pulled his tunic taut over his chest. “Nonsense, bring me to the shores, we will not speak.”

Skeleton and Dust is a short story, an introduction into the world of The Ferryman and the Flame, a high fantasy novel or rather series that essentially is a love story, at least what I can tell so far. Tor is the creator of the Flames, created in the insides of a volcano from grains of sand that he ingests. The Flames are a part of him, but they are weapons. When Aria appears in human form, yet is ethereal, he knows he must hide her away as the people he lives among will find her strange and will not accept her. But Aria is lonely. Tor comes very infrequently and she has no one to talk to, until the Ferryman comes. And when she touches him, he is more than a skeleton. He is a beautiful boy and he is real and she is solid to him. And this is where the love story begins. Aria does not want to fight. Tor never asks what any of the Flames wants, he assumes they all want to stand and fight with him. But Aria wants love. She wants her Ferryman. The story is in a very foreign world completely alien to us so it's nice to have this introductory story as a stepping stone into this world. Next month I'll be reviewing a complete story in the series.

About the author-

Rhiannon is an up and coming Indie Author that writes Young Adult Fantasy books and some non fiction. She has a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. When she’s not writing books she’s reading minds, singing karaoke, burning dinner and sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee. Some day she’d like to own a unicorn—as long as it doesn’t eat her. She's sold over 25,000 copies of her books worldwide.
Author Links-

Great for lovers of YA fantasy, supernatural romance stories. Very clean story.

I received a copy of this novel for the blog tour. My review was not influenced by this. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Infernal Devices Audio Book Reviews

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Available Now
14 hrs 35 minutes
Narrated by Jennifer Ehle
Current Price $5.95 for Audible members
Just in case you have been living under a rock and don't know what the story is about-
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...

My brief review of the audio book-
I listened to the audio of this novel and was completely swept away. Maybe it was the historical setting, or maybe it was the characters, but this novel seems so much more of a story, so much more romantic, funny, and heartbreaking than The Mortal Instruments. The language is richer, the politics of the Clave, and the relationships all seem to be so much deeper. I don't know if I had been reading this if I could have understood just how much Jem and Will meant to each other, what that relationship was really like. But listening to their interactions, it was clear. And I understand it's almost as deep a love as a man and wife. 

This book was narrated by Jennifer Ehle. As this seemed to be Tessa's story, it was appropriate and I enjoyed her voice. It was young and believable. She did a good job of portraying the other voices and had me riveted listening to the entire story. I swear my house has never been cleaner!

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Available Now
15 hrs 39 minutes
Narrated by Ed Westwick and Heather Lind
Audible Member price $5.95
Again, under a rock, here's what it's about-
In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

Again- My brief review of the Audio book-
Once again I listened to the audio of this book this time narrated by Ed Westwick and Heather Lind. They read separate chapters instead of male/female parts. And let me tell you, Will's accent really worked for him. I could have listened to Ed Westwick reading Will's part all day long. The narration on this book worked the best for me. 

I don't even know where the last book ended and this one began because I listened to all three in succession. I can only say again, the writing seems, as compared to The Mortal Instruments, much more complex, richer, just better. Again I think the historical context, the restraint that the characters have to show in their actions, even in expressing their feelings or showing them, that all adds to the romance. Talk about tension! And Will, oh Will! But, you really need to have the next book ready to go after this one. And did I tell you my house was clean? Well now all my books are put away by color on the shelves. Next I'll have to color code my closet. I highly recommend the audio of these books.

And Finally the gut wrenching, emotional conclusion-
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Available Now
16 hours 24 minutes
Narrated by Daniel Sharman
Audible member price $5.95

Come out from the rock-
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy – aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shaodwhunters of the London Institute. 

A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. 

My review of the audio book-
I listened to the audio book of this novel narrated by Daniel Sharman. I am not sure why each book was narrated by different people but I thought each book was fascinating on audio. This one though, it was utterly soul crushing. Yes, there were some uplifting parts, but this narrator knew just the right inflection, his accent for Will's voice was spine tingling and God did he make me cry. I had to cover my face with the sheet so my family wouldn't see me. I didn't want to have to stop and explain. I live with a bunch of guys. (Husband and sons). I'm not sure I've cried so much through a book and had I been reading it, I don't think I'd have been able to see through my tears. And it just kept going. Crush me, bring me back up, then crush me again. I mean I thought I was happy and then, dear God, here came the waterworks again. This was an excellent novel despite the ups and downs- emotional. There was a good bit of humor, inevitable loss, political machinations, a showdown once and for all with Mortmain and ...other stuff.

As a rating on this series I have to say this far surpasses at least the first two books I've read in The Mortal Instruments. I'm going to read the next one and stop there. Again I'll say this is one of the most romantic series of books I've read. And I love romance, but wow. The characters are so well developed, you just fall in love with them. And when one of them dies, you feel the loss. And those boys, Jem and Will, their love for each other, THAT, you don't see in YA ever. That was beautiful. True, deep friendship. I have to buy the books, now. So when the apocalypse comes, I can at least read these novels! Needless to say, I could not clean anything with all the crying going on. I just laid in bed and sniveled.

My suggestion is from the halfway point on don't listen or read in public. They'll think something is seriously wrong with you. You just have to type C in a search engine to find Cassandra Clare so I won't bother with links. But I think this is an amazing series and well worth reading even if you didn't like The Mortal Instruments.

I bought em! All mine! No disclaimers! MIne, mine mine!! Bleh! Phhht! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Resilient Blog Tour Giveaway and Review

Today is my stop on the Resilient Blog Tour with Candace's Book Promotions. There is a great giveaway going on with the tour that you'll see at the bottom of the page for a Kindle Paperwhite (US only) and a signed copy of the book (International)  along with some information about the author, Patricia Vanasse. You can also follow all of the tour stops for the blog tour HERE.

Resilient by Patricia Vanasse
Available Now
Pants on Fire Press
Paperback 336 pages
To Buy Links-
Amazon/ Kindle/ Barnes and Noble/ Indiebound
Book Depository

Livia has never felt like she fits in. As normal as it sounds, Livia is anything but ordinary. She can feel every emotion of every single person around her, and it’s maddening. In pursuit of some psychic quiet, she moves with her family from New York City to Whidbey Island in the lush and sleepy Pacific Northwest. But when a horseback riding accident in her new home gives her a broken leg that heals in a day, she finds that another unexplainable ability has manifested, and her life isn’t about to get any easier. Adam has no problem fitting in and making friends. In fact, he’s the top of the school, the boy everyone knows and loves. However, people only see what he allows them to. No one knows what Adam is truly capable of. After witnessing Livia’s accident, Adam sees something intriguing in her quick recovery, something that gives him hope that he’s not alone. Adam is the only one whose emotions Livia can’t read. Afraid of not knowing what goes on behind his dark eyes, Livia decides to keep him at a distance. Yet the more she tries to ignore him, the more alluring he becomes, and while their personal quests for identity will inevitably bring them closer together, it is the confirmation of what they really are that threatens to tear them apart.

Resilient, told in alternating point of views, is a gripping story of survival and romance, in which two teenagers face the consequences of being anything but normal.

It's always so great to be surprised by a book you've agreed to read for review, especially for a tour. That was the case for this novel. I always trust Candace's judgement, but this novel was really great! It had a great romance, unusual supernatural abilities with a plausible reason for the characters to have then, lots of secrets and villains, but, and I hate these, a huge cliffie. God do I hate those. Still, I did really enjoy this novel. And I am eager to read the next in the series.

Livia has always hidden away from people because she's empathic and it's almost excruciating for her to live in NYC and be around all those people feeling all those feelings. She does have two best friends which are mentioned several times as she's leaving them when the novel opens to go completely across country to an island off the coast of Washington, Whidbey Island.  It's a welcome change for Livia. She's a strong runner, fast due to her enhanced abilities and she enjoys running, swimming, horseback riding. She is no shrinking violet. She doesn't actively seek danger, but she's active and strong. She is aware that she was adopted and is seeking her biological parents only to answer the questions about her unique abilities most of which she keeps hidden from her parents. She has an overwhelming sense of guilt about their guilt they feel because she can feel everything they feel and they can't shield  it from her. Did I lose you? It's not complicated, really. Livia is an everyday, all American girl except for her unnatural ability to feel what everyone else feels, her superspeed and some new things that are developing.

Then she meets Adam. And she can't read his feelings at all. And Adam, who keeps his abilities from everyone but his best friend, can't seem to use his abilities on her. They are different but the same. They get off to a rocky start. Adam acts like a kindergartner with a new box of crayons and he won't share the lake which is half on his property and half on her property. Livia, being new, isn't sure of herself so she lets him have it. But they overcome their rocky start and become friends, then closer. Livia makes close friends almost instantly, being empathetic would probably make her very likable. Everyone wants to be understood.

Then when the two, Adam and Livia push for answers, they come from an unexpected place and have unwanted consequences. "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it," one of them quotes, too little, too late. And then, there's the cliffie. BAM! I knew it would happen, there was foreshadowing. But I hate them. That's my only fault with the novel. My copy wasn't the shiny polished copy that's on sale. I read an ARC so the mistakes I saw were expected. I loved that the chapters switched off one from Livia's point of view and the next from Adam's. I love to see what the characters think of each other. Adam has it BAD for Livia. So I need the next book soon. The sneak peek at the first couple of chapters were not enough!

I received a digital copy of this novel for review purposes for the tour. I was not influenced by this. The opinons expressed in this  review are my own.

About Patricia Vanasse-
Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two adorable children, and two crazy dogs. She has been trough Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible.

Website/ Blog/ Twitter/ Facebook

And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1) by Cynthia Voigt- Review

The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1) by Cynthia Voigt, Iacopo Bruno (illustrator)
Publisher- Knopf Books for Young Readers
Available Now
Hardcover 400 pages
To Buy Links- Amazon/ Kindle/ Audio Book CD/ Audible/  Barnes and Noble/ Indiebound/ Kobo
Book Depository

Goodreads-  Max Starling's theatrical father likes to say that at twelve a boy is independent. He also likes to boast (about his acting skills, his wife's acting skills, a fortune only his family knows is metaphorical), but more than anything he likes to have adventures. Max Starling's equally theatrical mother is not a boaster but she enjoys a good adventure as much as her husband. When these two disappear, what can sort-of-theatrical Max and his not-at-all theatrical grandmother do? They have to wait to find out something, anything, and to worry, and, in Max's case, to figure out how to earn a living at the same time as he maintains his independence. This is the first of three books, all featuring the mysterious Mister Max.

I have been reading some fabulous Middle Grade fiction and this book continues that trend! I don't even remember requesting this book but it was in my NetGalley books so if it's still available and you read Middle Grade fiction, this is a great book! It even had illustrations in it and even on my old Kindle they were amazing. The chapters were all titled, some with funny names like "In which Max doesn't want to get out of bed, Grammie is bossy, and Madame Olenka enters the scene". And the chapters were manageable so that even a reader that isn't that comfortable with chapter books could easily read a chapter and come back to it later or mom or dad could read it at night, a chapter or two before bedtime.

Max is on the verge of being independent or so his dad has always said he is at the age of twelve. He doesn't feel that way, at least not as Max. But then he adopts the personnas  of some of the characters in the plays he's seen his parents act in. Thankfully Max is a bit unremarkable and is able to pull off the chameleon like attitude and looks he needs to, and he's tall for his age. He becomes a detective of sorts, though he's quick to say he isn't one. He's a substitute teacher. A dog catcher. A gardener. A painter. But deep down, he's a very worried twelve year old boy.

His Grammie lives in a house right behind him and she wants him to live with her, but he can't stand that. He doesn't want to give up his independence and is very creative, resourceful and lucky in finding ways to make money to stay independent. He even gets an unwanted partner in his business, finder of lost things or "solutioneer" as he decides to call himself. But he isn't able to solve the biggest question. Where are his parents and why did they leave without him? What do his father's cryptic notes mean? And what's with that picture in the newspaper? And a very small part worries that they left him behind on purpose.

The characters in this novel are wonderful from the lost heir, to the stern but lovable Grammie to the annoying Pia. Their personalities are distinctive and you come to know them well. The setting is in the past as Max doesn't have a telephone and automobiles are scarce. I think it takes place in England. Max rides everywhere on his bike and you'll applaud Max for his fair decision making and his attempts to make life better for those around him.

I can't wait for the next book in this series and I think I'll buy my own copy of this novel. I believe it will become a favorite that I will read to future generations.

Thanks to the publishers who provided a copy for review through NetGalley for review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not compensated for my review.

You can reach Cynthia Voigt on the Web the following place-

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard Audiobook Review

Today is my tour stop on the Ghost Leopard Audio Book Tour with CBB Book Promotions. 
I had a great day listening to the audio book while I cleaned the downstairs, something that hasn't been done in awhile. I found myself really not minding the cleaning as I listened. That's got to tell you how engrossing this book was if I can forget that I'm cleaning! You might want to follow the tour and enter the giveaways. The link for the other stops is here. Enjoy!

Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard
Narrated by Bailey S. Carlson
Received audiobook from publisher for review
 To purchase- Audible/ Amazon/ Kindle
Goodreads-Move over Percy Jackson.
Find out what everybody is talking about!
If you loved Harry Potter, if you couldn't get enough of Percy Jackson, if you're wondering what to read after The Mark of Athena -- from bestselling author Lars Guignard comes the kids' magic fantasy
adventure... GHOST LEOPARD.

Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing...

...Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that
wants to rule the world.

When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool... She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas... and a crazy snake charmer tells them they've been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world.
As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they're going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed.
Because if they don't, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.

I am learning how to listen to audio books. I have to do something else active or I fall asleep. I can't be on the computer at all or I totally tune out. So, I cleaned. My husband is possibly fainting and probably trying to figure out how to thank the publisher and Candace. Cleaning is very low on my list of priorities. But cleaning while listening to an audio's like being in another world and I kind of forgot I was doing something I hate. I might be on to something here.

Zoe and Zak are eleven year olds who find themselves suddenly free of parental supervision in India. Zak, who seems to be a little impulsive (or a just an 11 yr old boy) begins their adventure by sneaking into "Rhino Butt's" room. I know, I know. But he has that name for a reason. Zoe saw him getting out of the pool at the expensive hotel where she was staying with her mother and where she discovered a classmate, Zak, and his father were also staying. He was wearing a very tight black speedo and his butt reminded her of a rhino's behind. That's why she called him that and Zak picked up the name from her. It's a great visual and it's easy to remember who he is, especially with the audio book. And of course, he's a villain so it's a good name.

I laughed at some of the antics of Zak and Zoe's exasperation at him. There is no romance between them just a budding friendship. And a huge adventure for two eleven year olds alone in the cities and the jungles of India. Their mission is to keep the Monkey Man from harming the Ghost Leopard who is only vulnerable every one hundred years on the night of the full moon. It's obvious from the descriptions that Lars Guignard has spent some time in India. From flooded streets to food to wild bus rides we get a taste of India along with a fun, G rated adventure. I was thinking of questions as I listened, "Why would she believe that?" and before the thought left my head, Zoe would say, "I didn't believe it for a minute" or "I had to be dreaming." Sometimes I have a hard time suspending my belief because I don't think the character is asking enough questions or is accepting things too easily, but not this time. Zoe asked all the questions I would have asked and I think I actually believed in the Ghost Leopard before Zoe did. There was a lot of luck involved with Zoe and Zak defeating the villains and some supernatural help from some mystical friends. It's all very believable in a mystical sort of way.

This is a great adventure novel for middle graders. It's not too scary, easy on the violence but enough drama for a fast paced adventure. Nothing in the way of a romance, just a great friendship and the promise of another adventure.

I received a copy of this audio book for review purposes. I was not influenced by this. The opinions expressed are my own.

About Lars Guignard -
Lars Guignard is a former film and television writer and a graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His debut thriller novel, Lethal Circuit, has been an amazon top 100 Technothriller since its release.
Guignard has wanted to write Indian stories for kids ever since he attended a boarding school in the majestic Himalayas. The time he spent in the “school above the clouds” affected him
profoundly, and once he returned home to North America he was struck by the lack of children’s stories from India available in our culture. Since India is such an incredible country, he decided
to write a series of action adventure books for young adults about India to introduce young readers to this magical, mystical land. So if you’re looking for a great book adventure for kids, try Ghost Leopard today!
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bookish Things, Book Signings (pictures) and ......

So Date Night in the Rosdol household Saturday night was not spent with David watching football and Heather reading and writing. No we made a little trip to Asheville to see these ladies:

 Yes, yes that's right! My lovely indie book store,(it's two hours away but I love it anyway) Malaprops hosted (from left to right) Erin Bowman author of Taken, Sarah J. Maas- make that NYT Best Sellers Author of Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and  five e-novellas in the series (and some other things I'll get to) and Susan Dennard diligently signing her books Something Strange and Deadly and A Darkness Strange and Lovely (and also some other things).

The first thing you should know is I was too scared to ask the one question I wanted to ask. So I just sat there and listened. On the front row. I was by myself for awhile until the lady at Malaprops that runs the events started threatening people. Not meanly, but she promised she wouldn't force a question out of people in the front row so my butt stayed glued to my seat hoping that extended to me since I was already there. It did. I took notes. I am SUCH a nerd at book signings. Don't sit next to me if you don't want to look nerdy, too. My husband wisely walked the streets of Asheville on his own for awhile and then sat in the back. Way back. He wouldn't want anyone to mistake him for a reader. But don't worry, I fill him in on every book I love and the ones that don't work for me. I even shared some of my writing at the restaurant after the signing.
What I LOVE about a book signing at Malaprops is that there are always other authors there hanging out on the BACK row and they ask lots of questions. I saw Megan Shepherd (The Madman's Daughter), Megan Spooner (Skylark, Shadowlark) and I am so sorry....there was another author there who looked so familiar but I just can't recall her name. And sadly, I did not take a picture.

So, what did I learn-
 All three of these authors are great friends and met on the internet. They toss writing ideas back and forth and bounce their WIP off each other. They Skype and email and get together some. They had just spent a week together at a lake house in a secluded area at the end of dirt road. Now, if you've read their books you know they have wildly creative imaginations- Cut to no internet, no cell service and then one dark night they get just enough internet to get creative or punchy, not sure but definitely entertaining. Sarah Maas reads a story about a strange green light traveling down the eastern seaboard and it's headed their way, Apocalypse??

As they recounted how they inventoried the house for weapons (fireplace pokers) and supplies (food) I pondered whether I would want to be with them during an apocalyptic catastrophe. Okay, no zombies I want to die a nonreturnable death in the case of zombies. But you know, a good storyteller would be valuable in the event of no t.v., radio, internet and the necessity to travel light. However, their plans for survival were less than stellar, if you do happen to be with them during an Apocalypse, better come up with your own plan and make sure to save them.

Interesting Facts-
Susan Dennard knows how to make dynamite and some type of pulsing gun? I haven't finished her books so I don't know but she's pretty sure she's on a government watch list since she Googled it. I'm pretty sure she's right.

Erin Bowman is working on a New Adult series (shh!). And she was editing another book when a certain character from Taken poked his head into hers and just wouldn't leave until she wrote about him. That's how she started Taken.

Sarah Maas started writing Throne of Glass when she was 16! She published it for the world to read on Fiction Press and had so many fans that she finally got serious about it in her 20's and made it into a book. Yeah, she did good. Oh, and in case you're wondering, ready....The Throne of Glass series is going to be SIX books long!!! Yeah, I know! But really, it's just too big of a story to be contained in three books and I'd be disappointed if anything was rushed. Think about how big that world is and four years is a long time (No I have not read Crown of Midnight so do not give me any spoilers). And there might be more novellas. And her idea came after she watched Disney's Cinderella, the scene where she's escaping the ball and she asked "What if Cinderella was an assassin?"

Another interesting fact Susan Dennard and Sarah Maas are writing a Space Opera free to the world for Adults. Stressing the ADULTS here because they do. It is called The StarKillers Cycle. It's on Tumblr and you can click that link but I will put it here too in case you have any trouble with it- . You can also find out about some more writing projects Sarah Maas and Susan Dennard are doing together and that Sarah Maas has done on her own here.

These authors were so much fun to listen to, so positive about venturing into the writing world and so down to earth. I always feel like I'm meeting Julia Roberts (Susan Dennard reminds me of her) or another famous star whenever I meet authors and I'm always surprised at how happy they are that I spent fifteen dollars on their book, like I did them the favor. And they aren't faking it, they aren't pasting on a smile. You can tell they are so happy to talk books with you and to hear how you loved their characters. Nerd or not, I had an awesome time!

Oh and something really cool that Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Maas did, when they had their book launch for their first books, they had everyone that has been at a book signing sign their books. So we all got to sign their books! So cool!

I found these authors all over the place so I'll let you know where you can find them, too!

Erin Bowman- Website - Twitter - Tumblr - Pinterest - Goodreads 
Sarah J. Maas- Website -Blog - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - Goodreads 
Susan Dennard - Website - Blog - Twitter - Facebook  - Pinterest - Goodreads

And StarKillers Cycle the Space Opera!
They can also, all three of them be found on Pub(lishing) Crawl along with other authors and people in the book world writing about many different topics. They also have an obsession with Teen Wolf and think of themselves as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but they're missing their fourth turtle. They are aware of this fact. They are not concerned.

Other Book News-
I didn't know about this did you-
For fans of Jodi Meadows Incarnate series-Phoenix Overture
This is Sam's story! According to her blog it is 0.5 and 2.5 together.
Amazon/ Barnes and Noble/ Kobo
From Goodreads-
This breathtaking and lyrical novella captures a thrilling and momentous decision for a young man and the people he loves. Told from the perspective of Sam, the sensitive musician from Jodi Meadows’s Incarnate series, lifetimes before he meets Ana, Phoenix Overture is a story of love and loss, strength and courage, and facing the consequences of the hardest of decisions.

Phoenix Overture offers existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the intriguing history of Heart, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the romantic, captivating fantasy of the Incarnate series.

In the wilds around the Community where Sam and his family have taken shelter, life is dangerous. Dragons, trolls, centaurs, and other monsters fill the world. The word comes from the council that everyone must leave and journey to rescue their leader, Janan, who has been abducted by a mysterious new enemy in the north. Faced with overwhelming threats that bring death and destruction, Sam and the others reach the northern Range and, reunited with Janan, are given an unimaginable opportunity. Although it would give them the privilege to live and learn and love without fear, the choice is not without its own dire consequences. And lives—though not theirs—are sure to be lost. Just how much are they willing to give up to save themselves?

HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month

And also from one of my favorite authors and I don't know how I totally missed this-

Secrets and Lies by Kody Keplinger
Amazon/ Barnes and Noble/ Kobo

From Goodreads-  Kody Keplinger both returns to the halls of Hamilton High and explores new territory in her collection of two e-book exclusive novellas. In these short stories, the author revisits a familiar cast of characters from THE DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) and A Midsummer's Nightmare. Explore the uniquely teen world of high school drama, secrets, and romantic entanglements from completely fresh perspectives that will intrigue fans of Kody Keplinger and new readers alike.

And that's all I have for today. But I do have some other author signings that I am shamefully behind on so I'll be trying to catch up soon. Hope some of this was news to you!


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