Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review Tour: New World: Rising Author by Jennifer Wilson

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New World Rising
Title: New World: Rising
Author: Jennifer Wilson
Series: New World (Book 1)
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 14 2014
Edition/Format Available In: eBook
Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”
Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with neither the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played.
In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors' motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.





The New World Series on Facebook


***** 5 Stars *****

This book rocked! I loved the characters, the storyline, and the constant action and kick buttness of the heroine. Set in a polluted and hostile city, Phoenix has lived on her own, surviving, after the brutal deaths of her parents. After she rescues a child from the certain fate of death most people in her city face, she is rescued, body restored, and suddenly a captive of an unknown group. Finding out the group's identity, their purpose, and how they work becomes Phoenix's next tasks. Not realizing she herself will change, she learns to hope, love, and fight for something other than survival. Now faced with protecting those she cares for and going against the "utopia" that she once lived in, her group will try and infiltrate The Sanctuary which lies next to the city and is closed off.

The book ends on a cliffhanger and I immediately looked to see when book two is coming out. WHY, why, why? I have to wait to see what happens! Phoenix rocks my socks as a strong female lead and Triven is an excellent dystopian book boyfriend (that's right, I claimed him first! :) ). Story is fast paced, never being slogged down in boring details or derailed, and has me hungry to continue the series!



I awoke with a start, my arms flailing outward, as the scream caught in my throat. It only took seconds to recognize my surroundings, to calm my racing heart. This was how I awoke every morning, every morning since my parents died. After years I managed to restrain the scream, awakening before it escaped my lips. Screaming in the night could get you found, screaming during the daytime would get you killed.
I checked my father’s watch in the green light. It was nearly three in the afternoon. There were still hours until dark. I knew I would have to stock up more food before I left for my next refuge, but scavenging during the daytime wasn’t an option.
Thumbing through my book collections, I felt uninspired and bored, having already read them so many times. I thought about trying to sleep longer but my mind was too awake. After eating a breakfast of dried apples, I made a plan to grow my personal library. Aside from needing something else to distract my mind, books always proved a good source of trade. Those few of us who defied the Tribes kept to ourselves and stayed quiet. We never gathered, nor really ever trusted one another. But when goods ran scarce, trades were not uncommon. It was finding the right recluses to trade with that was key. One wrong choice and you could easily find yourself with empty hands and a knife in your back. A select few of my merchants knew how to read and those that didn’t, never turned down good kindling.
Rifling through my few belongings, I decided to leave my larger backpack behind. It was too heavy and often cumbersome while crawling through the vents. I would only need a small tote big enough to carry books. My revolver lay on the mattress in its holster. I eyed it, speculating if it was needed. I always took it with me outside or to hunt for food, but no one ever came in the library anymore. I had seen a few rats and the occasional wild dogs on the floors below, but none of them ever bothered me. Instead I slid my knife into my hip sheath and climbed up the shelves to the vent.
As always, I moved with great caution, careful to never make a sound and always listening for others. But like usual, the building was empty. After nearly ten minutes of crawling, I saw light shining up through the galvanized steel. Cautiously I pressed my ear to the vent while holding my breath.
I smiled and pushed open the grate before sliding out onto the top of a bookshelf. Before descending I scanned the rows, my keen eyes looking for any trace of movement, foreign color or moved shelving. Nothing had changed since I was here last. Several of the books I had discarded still lay on the floor where I had dumped them, uninterested.
Relaxing a bit, I took a deep breath. The room was massive, filled with rows upon rows of abandoned books. It smelled like aged paper, and earth from the destroyed floors below. I loved that smell. Soundlessly, I climbed down the metal shelf I had perched on and headed for my favorite sections.
First I stopped by the romance section— business first, then pleasure. These were my least favorite kind of book. People fell into whirlwind romance, swept up with sex and passion. I didn’t believe in love, it was a wasted emotion that could get you killed. People did foolish things in the name of love. While I detested these books, they were generally thick and most of my allies didn’t care about the content as long as they burned.
I never made friends, not even with my allies. There were those I could barter with safely, and those I couldn't, I stole from. I never stole from the dead. Rationally it made more sense to take from the dead; after all it wasn’t like they would be using anything anymore. But the thought made me nauseous, reminding me too much of watching my parents’ murders. Instead I traded with a few recluses and targeted the Tribes’ storage facilities for the rest. I never felt guilty stealing from them.
Blindly grabbing a few thick books, I tossed them into my bag and moved on to the educational section. I browsed the titles looking for books on survival and warfare. After skimming their backs I took two of the most promising titles before moving on to the fiction section. I loved this section the most. The books here provided an escape, a place to let my mind wander free and find friends. Not real friends, but friends I could care about without having to commit to. Once I had opened a book and read its pages, those characters could never be taken away from me. Even if the books were burned, they would still live on in my mind. They couldn’t die or betray you, friends on paper proved much more lucrative than real ones.
This section was also the largest, and after years of perusing its shelves I had only just scratched the surface. Leisurely, I moved through the rows looking for authors I recognized or titles that called to me. Upon finding one of interest I would pull it from the shelf and read the back cover or the first few pages. Anything of interest was added to my collection. Everything else got added to the growing pile on the floor. I was so immersed in the pages of a potential gem that I almost didn’t hear them.
Two voices were making their way toward me, speaking in hushed tones.
“Shut up. I swear I heard something up here.”
“If I scaled that damn rope for nothing, I swear I will slit your throat myself.”
Every muscle in my body tensed as the distinctly male voices drifted through the aisles. Careful not to make a sound, I slipped the book into my bag and peeked through a gap in the books. Their backs were turned to me, the black leather of their coats splattered in red. Both men were hulking in size, my head probably even with their chests. The taller one had a red mohawk with feathers dangling from it. The other was bald with deep scars that covered the entire left side of his head like angry red fissures. Both of them had an obscene amount of metal piercings protruding from their skin. My hair rose on end.
What the hell were they doing here? Panic prickled in the pit of my stomach. The vent leading to safety was nearly five rows over across the aisle; there was no way to make it there without being seen. Why hadn’t I brought my gun? I cursed myself as their eyes scanned the empty rows.
“I smell fear.” One of them taunted, his gruff voice no longer whispering.
They cackled with delight.
I swallowed hard. Even if it was just a farce to scare me, it was working, my pulse accelerating. Punching the other in the shoulder, the one with the mohawk motioned for them to spilt off. My ears began to ring as they moved to either side of my row and progressed towards me. I was trapped. My eyes instantly searched for another route of escape or a place to hide. As their footsteps moved closer, I began to silently climb.

authorJennifer Wilson
As a child Jennifer loved getting lost in the stories of others, but struggled greatly with reading. A notoriously slow reader who stumbled with words and spelling, Jennifer shied away from books, leaning heavily on musical theater and movies to get her inspirational fix.

It was not until in her mid-teens, when a persistent friend convinced her to read the Harry Potter series, that Jennifer found her love for the written word. J.K. Rowling’s books opened doors not only to the fascinating world of a young wizard, but to a life filled with a multitude of literary friends and fantastical worlds. Once a timid reader, Jennifer now devours books and loves getting lost in a new series.

Jennifer had wanted to write her own novel since her early twenties, but unfortunately inspiration doesn’t always strike on command. Her first book, The Chosen, was completed in 2013. But as most first attempts go, it was a flop. While looking through a multitude of rejection letters, inspiration struck again, putting Grace’s story got on hold as Phoenix’s began.

New World: Rising began to fill Jennifer’s brain, flowing like a fully opened valve from her fingertips. What was once such a struggle in her early years suddenly became a passion.

When Jennifer is not writing, she is enjoying life in Colorado, rock climbing, camping, exploring new foods, playing with her golden retriever, Duke, and sharing her life with her handsome and wonderful husband.
Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Author Facebook Page





Author’s Other Works

New World Series

New World: Rising

New World: Ashes Coming Soon

The Chosen Series

The Chosen Coming Soon

The Lost Coming Soon

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: Stolen Dreams by Christine Amsden


Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.



Barnes and Noble


***4.5 Stars***

Well, it has finally come to an end... at least Cassie and Evan's story. And a beginning, but I'm not going to spoil that part! I'm going to leave the review broad to keep out any potential spoilers!

Cassie has returned home and there's a big and ugly feud between the Blackwood and Scot families. Cassie finds an ally and apprenticeship with an unusual elder who predicts folks will die, especially if Evan and Cassie don't get their own feud under control.  Through the twist and whirl of action and further romantic nonsense between Evan and Cassie, they both lose people close to them. They make a few bets that really jack up the fight between their families and find a murderer hidden in their mists entangled with both families.

Their friends and other family members continue to have their side stories and plotlines that coincide with the main love story of Cassie and Evan. I look forward to reading the future books about the supporting characters. Christine did a great job of combining the multitude of storylines into a comprehensive final book that had brought closure to many open ended trails in the first three books, but left some open for lovers of the series to continue to follow up on the other characters in the books.



Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Social Media Links:

The Cassie Scot Series:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1)

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)


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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Review Tour & Giveaway: Vanished from Dust (Book 1 in the Vanished from Dust series) by Shea Norwood

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Vanished from Dust New Amazon
Book Title: Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood (Book 1 in the Vanished from Dust series)
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 320
Published: October 16th, 2013
Published by Createspace


Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.


Barnes & Nobles


*** 5 Stars!! ***
Don’t know about you, but junior high wasn’t exactly the best years of my life. Eric has seen phantoms, creepy blotches of swirling blackness with burning red eyes, all of his life. He makes the mistake of shouting it out once when he was younger; much taunting, therapy, and bullying later he keeps the sightings to himself. A friend appears when Kyle moves into the small Texas town and Eric grows a bit surer of himself. Then he starts seeing a lot of the phantoms… and they aren’t happy to remain in the shadows of his sight anymore.
People start getting exhausted. Eric and Kyle pursue the mystery around the town and eventually find themselves in a parallel to their Texas town, confronted with trying to save the lives of those they love while keeping their own hides alive. It’s a race against the insane paranormal clock to save themselves and their world.

Similar to the move “Super 8” in the themes of young friendship and the struggles of being a preteen, the book was a cringing reminder of what’s it’s like to be just a little different. Eric is tasked with protecting everyone and everything he loves with the help of his best friend, who continues to support him throughout the insanity of the story’s unfolding plot.

This book was a super fun, crazy, and chilling ride. I loved this book and was outraged it ended on such a cliffhanger!


Shea Norwood new

Shea Norwood is an emerging author and native of West Texas that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son.He was drawn to writing at an early age and recently rekindled this passion after dusting off a decade-old manuscript, titled Vanished from Dust. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.
When he’s not writing, Shea loves to spend time with this family, read, and is a frequent globetrotter. His travels have taken him to France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany, and Mexico.Shea writes Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal/Mystery

Follow Shea on Facebook to get updates on upcoming releases.






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Monday, October 6, 2014

Warriors at the Helm by Juan Carlos Marcos

Title: Warriors at the Helm
Author: Juan Carlos Marcos
Publisher: Elie Press
Pages: 174
Genre: Business
Format: Hardcopy/Ebook
In Warriors At The Helm: A Leader’s Guide To Success in Business, Juan Carlos Marcos shares his almost four decades of experience regarding people dynamics in the corporate World. Whether you’re just getting started in business, or you are a thirty-year warrior, nothing is as valuable to your growth, and in preparing you for success, as learning through trial and error. However, modern-day corporate America can be very unforgiving or impatient through your learning process. This book represents the next best thing to being there, which is learning from others’ experience. Juan provides the reader with a practical tool that offers valuable insights into the distinctive and real differences between effective leaders (those that people eagerly follow) and those who lack the self-awareness to understand that they may be barriers to progress versus a catalyst. To further add texture to his insights, Juan elicits and shares thoughts from veteran executives who share personal experiences and perspectives derived from years of trench warfare. In Warriors At The Helm you will learn about the traits that make Leaders and Individual Contributors successful in business and how to manage the Dumb Asses and Egomaniacs (AKA Barbarians) that roam the corporate landscape. The book will provide you with the awareness and knowledge of the life “on the inside” that will help you emulate and demonstrate the behaviors that will keep your career on a positive and productive track.

Purchase Your Copy At:
  Barnes & Noble

Juan Carlos Marcos was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1962. He spent almost four decades in leadership roles in human resources in the corporate world, including experience in multiple industries. Among the companies he worked at included Saint Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, in Madison Wisconsin, Graber Industries Inc., Boston Market and McDonald’s Corporation. Now retired and working as a consultant, he took the time to fulfill his dream of writing his first book. Juan holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin. Juan lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with his wife Randi.

October 6
Book featured at Bookish Mommies
October 7
Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
October 8
Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
October 9
Book featured at My Devotional Thoughts
October 10
Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
October 15
Interviewed at Review From Here
October 16
Book featured at Literarily Speaking
October 17
Interviewed at Examiner
October 21
Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
October 22
Book featured at The Zen Reader
October 24
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
October 27
Book reviewed at My Life. One Story at a Time
October 28
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
October 29
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
October 30
Interviewed at Blogher
October 31
Guest blogging at Breaking the Spine

Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway (Blog exclusive: signed paperback!): Ancient Hunter: A Modern Mythos by Arden Aoide



One of the coolest things in my wee reading world is having been able to meet the author before I read her work. Opening up to the first page after having a valid, fun and quirky conversation with Arden was like going on a second date. Butterflies, unsure, but excited.

“Ancient Hunger” did not disappoint! Described adeptly as a dark romance, I didn’t find it too dark, dull, or overwhelming in sadness. Instead, pleasantly, I found the characters, their lives and histories, and romances written extremely well and in great detail. Not to mention, the sexy scene were –sexy- and not overpowering.

Immortal creatures have roamed Earth through countless lifetimes and the story takes place around a handful of them. The cast of characters is a blend of a completely mad man and his wrong love, an arrogant but not shallow past king, a melodic, quiet tattooist and his human love, and a few others. The book carefully follows the love story of the tattoo artist and his human, who has made a connection with an ancient goddess. Hitching a ride with our paranormal romance is a homey threesome couple with mixed pasts, and the insane torture of a fanatic mad man on a mission to cleanse his past love her perpetuated sins. I’ll leave it there so I don’t give too much away.

Dark, richly detailed and not a typical paranormal read, it was fun to get lost in the world that Arden has created.




I’m the ringmaster to two mad daughters, three madder cats, and a very patient husband with an infinite sense of humor. My world basically revolves around them, by choice and necessity. I’m also an obstinate insomniac. Actually, I’m a bit obstinate about most adult things, and that influences almost everything I do. I hate rules and regulations. People find me too permissive in my parenting, but only because my goal is to raise kind humans with an edge of anarchy, and not those who know their place. It’s not up to me to choose their place, but only to help them find it.

Other than that, I love food. Eating more than cooking. I'm an anglophile. I love words. I love philosophy and the vastness of the universe. I love Mary Janes and red lipstick.


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