Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Molly’s Misadventures by D.E. Haggerty

27871504Romantic Comedy
Date Published: January 11, 2016

I’m having the suckiest day ever. First, my father, aka Mr. Grumpy Pants, calls to say his nurse just walked out on him. Likely story. I rush home to pack only to walk in on my husband getting it on with his younger, skanky secretary. Unfortunately, my quick weekend trip home to fix Dad’s problems turns into a stay of a few weeks. Luckily, I’ve got Danny, the neighbor boy I had a crush on when I was a dorky, braces-wearing, nose-buried-in-a-book teenager, and a brand-spanking new blog to keep my mind off things. Before I know it, I’m writing product reviews of vibrators and getting questioned by a store rent-a-cop at the world’s worst date ever. All while trying to figure out how to take things with Danny to the next level. Not to complicate things or anything but my boss decides to give me an ultimatum – come back in four weeks or don’t come back at all. How in the world did my life get so complicated?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: Frosh: First Blush (Frosh #1) by Mónica B. Wagner

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

Title: Frosh: First Blush (Frosh #1)
Published: Oct. 20, 2015
Pages: 307
Format: eBook
Buy the Book 

During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.
Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble.
Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.
High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.
Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?
FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Tour, Giveaway & Review: Best in Show (Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6) by Maria Grazia Swan

Best in Show Banner

Best in Show ebook

Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6
Maria Grazia Swan
Cozy Romantic Suspense, 188 pages
Mina Calvi, Italian transplant to Southern California, thinks her love life might finally come together, just as her professional life has. Her Furry Friends Foundation, a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs, is a success, and Mina hopes she may find a loving forever home for herself, in the arms of Diego Moran, her elusive, frustratingly mysterious, on again-off again, lover.
When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.
Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B&B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.
Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.


Amazon ebook    Amazon Print

books 1 thru 5

Books 1 thru 5 Available at Amazon


Okay, she had to do something. She grabbed a chilled bottle of Prosecco from the fridge and headed over to Millie’s, cutting through the garage. The sight of her old Volkswagen in the garage, hidden under the custom cover she’d had made, flooded her soul with memories. Mina walked around the car and lifted the corner of the cover by the driver’s side, and got in the car.

She sat in the car, her eyes closed, revisiting the past, the good and the bad times. The car was like her personal diary. The bottle of chilled wine was making her fingers turn blue. When she set the bottle on the dusty passenger seat, Mina noticed something white on the well-worn floor mat. She bent down and picked it up. It was a plain white envelope, nothing written on it, and not sealed. She could feel something inside, something that wasn’t just folded paper.

There wasn’t much light in the garage, and especially not much under the car cover. The car’s battery had died a very long time ago, but it had never bothered her until now. What should she do? She retrieved the bottle from the passenger seat, got out of the car, and quickly walked back into her house. The car cover could wait until morning.

In the kitchen, she laid the envelope on the table. Curiosity had Mina’s hands trembling. Without losing sight of the envelope she got a stem glass from a shelf and uncorked the bottle. Then she sat, sipping Prosecco, staring at the envelope as if she expected the thing to come alive or something.

She tried to remember the last time she had actually been inside the Volkswagen. A long time ago, for sure. But the blank envelope didn’t look that old, no yellowing of the paper, no stains. It looked—new. She lifted the flap and with two fingers slid the folded paper out. It was as plain and as white as the envelope. Folded in four, it looked sort of square, but not really.

Another sip of Prosecco. Her fingers holding the glass left foggy marks against the frost on the crystal glass. She breathed deeply and unfolded the paper. Something maroon and looking like crumbled tissue paper landed on the tabletop. When she tapped her finger on it, it basically pulverized. What was it? The slanted, large cursive handwriting left no doubt about who the writer of the brief message was.

“If you are reading this, you were sitting in the Volkswagen. In the dark. No, I’m not a magician, I just know you well. You felt lonely and sad, and maybe a little mad at me for not being there for you. I can’t blame you. I’m always amazed that you are willing to wait for me even when you don’t know when or if I will come back. Keep the faith, bella. You know that old cliché. Yes, I know how much you like American expressions. This one promises good things to those who wait. Soon, very soon.

“P.S. That powdery dark red stuff? Remember the rose you threw in the wastepaper basket in De Fiore’s office when you were mad at me because of the kidnapping of Houdini, and the mix-up with the other cat? Yes, I saved it. It was all I had left of you at the time. Now I’m returning it because I have you back in my life.”


*** 3.5/5 Stars ***

Mina is back together with a lost lover named Diego. She ends up embroiled with his lively work life and a mess of mysteries. A few past friends and new romances pop up and Mina is in the business of finding out what's really going on with a show cat in her boarding facility.

Cute book that was fairly easy to follow enough though this was the first of the series I have read. The characters are likable and there were some pleasant twists and turns to end on a happy note. Mina was an average heroine who had her romantic worries and jealous times. She seemed to miraculously solve the problems that popped up to the thanks for her friends and lover. The action was a bit slow and the book dragged a little, but was still an easy, quick read. Some of the character descriptions were humorous and the author did  good job tying up all the mysteries going on in the novel.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review during this book tour.


author1-300x77Author pic

Best selling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?

Find Me Here –Maria Grazia Swan

[email protected], personal   mgswe[email protected] readers/website

Webpage      Blog     Twitter         Facebook      Goodreads     Amazon Author Page    Linkedin


I Love My Cat locket (US only)
Paperback copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (US only)
Ebook copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (Intl)
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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Lightsreach by T. C. R. Felton

Kindle Cover Final
In a land where only a few can live in the light, one young girl may be the key to bringing the entire world out of the darkness.
Without knowing the secret prophecy that has altered her destiny, ten-year-old Lily will have to leave the safety of her home in Lightsreach on a journey that will alter the course of the future. But when she and her mysterious travelling companion are waylaid along the way, things quickly spiral out of control. Suddenly this young girl is the epicenter of a revolution that had been brewing within an ancient, lost civilization for thousands of years. Lily is the key to restoring peace and balance in a world torn asunder when it long ago lost the light.

On sale for $.99 until 11/7/2015!




*** 5/5 Stars ***

I can be a bit of a fantasy junky at time and usually prefer YA or adult fantasy. I can be a bit leery of middle grade or fantasy geared toward a younger set. This book? Nerp. This novel can appeal to all ages though the author states it's targeted for some of the younger folk. The blurb perfectly explains the book. Lily is an excellent example of a vulnerable, but very strong young lady in the face of challenges. The supporting characters are appealing. Their backgrounds, personalities, and roles in the book are clear and stated. The fantasy concept of magic, gods, and mischief are absolutely present and fun. Many of the elements in the book such as loss, courage, and growing (in a physical and mental sense) can ring true with any audience. The plot is fairly easy to understand, but the end action caught me in surprise. I am going to happily pass this book onto my nephew who is 11 years old. The fighting and adventure scenes are on par with a Harry Potty or Percy Jackson. There is nothing inappropriate in this lovely novel. I can absolutely see this book appealing to girls, boys, or adult version of kids, like myself. ;) For unsure or wary readers, this would be a great introduction to the fantasy realm and a story even older kiddos could read with their parents.

The cover is gorgeous! Mr. Felton illustrated it all :)

Note: The author provided a review copy in return for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.


author1-300x77tim color

T.C.R. Felton is a Houston, Texas based artist that graduated with honors from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He is married and has one child with another on the way this year. 


"Lightsreach" came about naturally after a conversation with fellow painter, Benjamin Walton. T.C.R. painted a series of illustrations in his studio that came completely out of the blue. There were castles, dragons, and lights and none of them were intended to be connected. They were just spur of the moment painting with no plan or thought put into them before the paint hit the canvas. They each just came from the brush strokes. 

Ben came into the studio and asked how they were all related, as they shared similar themes. T.C.R. then sat down and wrote a few pages that ultimately became "Lightsreach," the final piece in the series of paintings.



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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Tour & Review: Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Title: Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!

Author: Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Publisher: J. Murray Press

Pages: 350

Genre: Nonfiction/Nutrition/Health

The Paleo.  The Zone.  The Gluten-free.  Another day, another diet.  We’re caught in a never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors and companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion industry.  But do these diets really work?  And how healthy are they? Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on medical facts, not hype.  And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies, relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach efforts.  With insight and humor, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off shows that the best answer is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our health and our waistlines.
Buy links: 
  • Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
The idea for this book began at a wedding.
Who doesn’t love a good wedding? The clothes, the flowers, the romance, the food…
Ah, the food. As we moved into the banquet hall, the culinary feast was on everyone’s minds. It was all anyone seemed talk about. But for some reason, guests weren’t conversing about the dishes being served; they were swapping stories of diets they had heard about from friends, magazine articles, even celebrities on talk shows.
I’m a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional science and years of clinical and health education experience. I’ve counseled thousands of patients and clients on all of these diets. But hearing the guests only momentarily distracted me from my horrible faux pas of wearing white (gasp!) to a friend’s wedding.
“I’m on the Blood Type Diet,” said a woman with an impossibly high bouffant hairdo. “You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? It’s the one where you choose your foods based on your blood type. I’m an AB, so I’ll be having the fish.”
“Really?” her friend replied. “I swear by the gluten-free diet. I’m on it, my daughter’s on it, and my granddaughter’s on it.”
I happened to know her granddaughter was six and didn’t have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Then there was the stocky guy who was trying to impress one of the bridesmaids. “I’m a paleo man myself,” he said, piling his plate high with beef kebabs. “It gives me more stamina, know what I mean? It puts me in touch with my inner caveman. There’s a restaurant near my apartment that’s paleo friendly. Maybe we can grab a bite there sometime, or…Hey wait, where are you going?”
And there were three Weight Watchers sisters who typed furiously on their phones and argued over their meals’ point values. Apparently there was some discrepancy between their various apps, and the sisters’ discussion was becoming more heated by the moment.
I’m past the point of being surprised by the wide range of weight-loss strategies—
some worthless, some crazy, some quite reasonable—being tossed around. In the past few years, there has been a tidal wave of diets washing up on the shores of our nutritional consciousness. Celebrities prance across our screens, promoting a variety of weight-loss schemes on talk shows and infomercials. Medical doctors star in their own syndicated television programs, exposing millions to weight-loss techniques, often unsupported by medical research. Other diets get traction on the Internet, racing all over the globe in social media posts, YouTube videos, and annoying spam e-mails. It’s hard to walk past a shopping center vitamin store without being approached by salespeople trying to pitch the latest weight-loss supplements. It seems that everyone wants a piece of the pie; the American diet industry tops $60 billion annually.
It’s classic information overload. You can’t blame people for being confused by all the diets out there, even as crazy as some of them may sound. I didn’t speak up to my fellow wedding guests that day, but it occurred to me they would benefit from some hard facts about the diets they so ardently follow.
So during the toasts, I thought to myself, I should write a book.
I counsel clients on these matters each week, giving them information they need to make the best choices for their health and waistlines. I find that all too often there’s nothing to the diets that are presented to me in my counseling sessions and classes. They just plain don’t work, particularly over the long term. And some of them are harmful, even potentially lethal. But it’s also unhealthy to carry extra weight on our frames. So how do we separate good diets from the bad?
In the chapters to come, we’ll take a good, hard look at the various weight-loss plans out there. I’ll pull no punches in my professional evaluation of some of the most wildly popular diets, both bad and good, of the past few years. And along the way, I’ll explore tried-and-true strategies for losing weight, based on my years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars, and community outreach efforts. More often than not, the best answer is not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but instead a few easy-to-follow guidelines that I’ve seen work in literally thousands of cases.
Enough is enough. It’s time for the madness—and the diets—to stop.

I'm now in my 30s. I swear something happened and all that great and easier way of weight loss went out the door with my 20s. My hubby and I both have struggled the weight loss boogie. It sucks. I have to say this book gave me a great, refreshing view of this ongoing concern. The book is easy to read and glean new ideas for even the most battle weary person on weight loss. The author, Lisa, is a Registered Dietitian. Highly recommended to anyone sick of trying diet fads and needing some common sense rules, tricks, and facts to follow. The book doesn't blame the reader or harp on constant weakness- it addresses what the reader needs to focus on and what to drop in the weight loss fads. Jump on the merry-go-round and find the right stop to stop on. :)

Note: I received a paperback copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

LISA TILLINGER JOHANSEN, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients on a wide range of health issues. Her debut nutrition book, Fast Food Vindication, received the Discovery Award (sponsored by USA Today, Kirkus and The Huffington Post).  She lives in Southern California.
 Her latest book is the nonfiction/nutrition/health book, Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!For More Information

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Tour Spotlight: His Work of Art by Shannyn Schroeder, Racing Hearts by Melissa West and A Taste of Sake by Heather Heyford

25459846Title: His Work of Art
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook
Reese Carter is definitely not your average college girl. She’d prefer to spend Saturday nights playing Hero’s Crusade than attending a wild frat party on campus. When she bands together with Adam, fellow comic enthusiast and illustrator, it appears that Reese has formed a dream team sure to propel her writing into the comic hall of fame.

Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But. this relationship is strictly professional. Or so he tells himself. When the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned; they never expected to develop a steamy romantic sub-plot of their own…

Shannyn Schroeder
Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.
She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
Shannyn is represented by Frances Black and Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel.
For More Information
Visit Shannyn’s website.Connect with Shannyn on Twitter , Goodreads and Facebook

Title: Racing Hearts
Author: Melissa West
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…

The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate…

Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will hire her, and let her ride the spirited colt she fell for at first sight. He won’t—unless she agrees to train with the horse at Hamilton Stables, under his guidance. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…

Melissa  West

Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.
Visit Melissa’s website.

25896207Title: A Taste of Sake
Author: Heather Heyford
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

As author Heather Heyford pours a final glass in her series following three Napa wine heiresses, a newcomer must work her way into a tightly-knit family whose bond has been fermenting for years…
Though they each have their own ambitions and are known to be competitive—even with each other—the St. Pierre sisters are fiercely loyal. Chardonnay and Merlot are thrilled about Sauvignon’s wedding day, and it’s slated to be the soirée of the decade among Napa’s most elite residents. Given the family’s notoriety, it almost stands to reason that their eccentric father, Xavier, would arrive by helicopter. But no one could have anticipated the wedding surprise he’d brought along with him…

The product of one of Xavier’s many affairs, Sake is introduced as the half-Japanese sister the St. Pierre girls never knew they had. She struggles to break into clique-ish Napa society—and getting in with her sisters is proving more difficult than nabbing a ’74 Cabernet. It seems only high-end realtor Bill Diamond can tell there’s more to Sake than meets the eye. Afraid of repeating her mother’s mistakes, Sake just hopes that getting drunk on love won’t leave her with a hangover of rejection…

Heather Heyford

Born in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England.
“Ya’ll want some scones?”
While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City.

For More Information
Visit Heather’s website.Connect with Heather on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Only Women in Hell by A.R. Braun

I received this book to give an honest review.

24793950Title: Only Women in Hell
Published Jan. 30, 2015
Genres: adult
Pages: 322
Format: eBook
Buy the Book

All eleven-year-old Stacey wants is to find a foster family. Then Dick becomes her loving foster father, and he's loving, all right. Too loving. Try overly strict. He comes to her bedroom to punish her for disobedience to, well, tyranny. But the punishment doesn't fit the crime, just his need for sadism. And his wife has his back.
When Stacey turns eighteen, Dick can't torture her anymore. She plans to skip college and move in with her boyfriend. Or so she thinks. One dab of chloroform and Stacey's a prisoner all over again. Now she's in a tiny room with no windows and a steel door locked from the outside. And Dick has the only key. He stops by every three days to drop off groceries and torture her and the daughters he fathered.
Stacey fights like a dog to escape. She has to, for she and her children's sake. Someday she will, and when she does, Dick will pay.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spotlight: The Dragon Of The Month Club by Iain Reading

Synopsis: The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.
 On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
 But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Travelling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
 Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.

 Buy Links: 
The Dragon Of The Month Club, by Iain Reading, was published in February 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Genres: Young Adult / Fantasy / Adventure.


Chapter 2 – The Book

Following their most unlikely of beginnings, the friendship of Ayana and Tyler grew quickly, and before they knew it, they were the best of friends, meeting up with each other almost every day. Sometimes they met up with Ayana’s mother after school at the downtown Dairy Queen for ice cream. Other times they climbed the edges of the coulee behind Ayana’s school and went to Tyler’s house where they did their homework together in his room. But most of the time, they just agreed to meet up at the place where they’d both accidentally bumped into each other on that very first day—amongst the dusty old bookshelves of the old library at the row between the history of the anatomy of earthworms and the illustrated guide to the indigenous mosses of Iceland.

It was on just such a day that Ayana and Tyler first discovered THE BOOK—a name that would be forever capitalised in their minds whenever either of them dared to utter the phrase aloud.

It was a magical book. That much was clear almost from the outset, so perhaps the manner in which these two unlikely friends happened to come across it was magical as well.

It all started on a typical Friday afternoon. Ayana and Tyler had agreed to meet at the library right after school. Tyler had a dentist appointment and would either be a few minutes late or a few minutes early, depending on how long that took. Not surprisingly Tyler was a few minutes late. This could have been expected since Tyler took dentist appointments very seriously. For weeks ahead of time he would be sure to brush his teeth five times every single day—once when waking up, once after breakfast, once after lunch, once after dinner, and once again before bed—which was two more times a day than he usually did. (He normally deemed the wake-up and after dinner steps unnecessary.) All of this was in addition to flossing, rinsing, and otherwise generally trying to keep his teeth in the best possible shape for the check-up.

To Tyler, going to the dentist was like studying for a test in school. Failure was not an option. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that once he was actually in the dental chair, he expected the dentist to be every bit as thorough as he was, a process that required a bit more time than it normally would with less fastidious patients.

So Tyler was late.

And so, when he finally arrived, he hurried down the stairs and quickly navigated through the maze of shelves at the back of the library and found Ayana sitting there, crouched on the floor, sobbing her eyes out.

Tyler sighed heavily. He could already guess what must have happened: Heather van der Sloot... again.

He took off his backpack and set it on the floor. Folding his legs under him, he lowered himself down until he was sitting next to Ayana, not too close, of course, but as close as he dared to.

“What happened this time?” Tyler asked.

Ayana sobbed and buried her face even deeper in her hands. After a moment her left arm shot out, pointing an accusing finger toward a stack of soiled and dishevelled papers lying in a heap on an empty space on the shelf opposite them.

“That,” Ayana cried, her voice thin and cracking.

Tyler stared at the papers, and it took him a moment to realise what they were.

“Your poems,” he gasped.

Tyler had to take a breath and swallow. Ayana’s poems were a work of art, neatly written in careful flowing script, one to a page. Ayana carried them with her sometimes in a stiff green cardboard folder with trees on it that had little strings that you used to tie it shut.

Ayana nodded, still sobbing.

“She threw them all over the playground,” she said, her voice raspy. “She grabbed my tree folder away from me and threw them everywhere. I... I ....”

Ayana stuttered and couldn’t speak for a second.

“I don’t know if I got them all back,” she finally said, finishing her thought. “I think I lost some.”

Tyler nodded and crawled over on one knee to pick up the chaotic stack of papers. He sorted through them, one by one, trying to put them back into some kind of order. They were smeared and scratched and crumpled. One even had a dirty footprint stamped squarely on it.

Normally Ayana wouldn’t even let Tyler glance at one of her poems, so he was surprised that she wasn’t bothered by his looking through all of them now. She clearly wasn’t thinking straight, so he tried to make as neat a stack out of them as possible and set it down on the carpet in the middle of the row of shelves.

“There are a lot there,” he said, sitting close to her again. “Maybe you did get them all.”

Ayana shrugged her shoulders hopelessly.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, staring blankly at the pile of papers. “I don’t care.”

Tyler felt a sudden squeeze around his heart. He had no idea what he was supposed to do to make Ayana feel better.

But as his mind was racing, trying to think of something, the universe intervened.

“I hate her, Tyler,” Ayana said. “I HATE her!”

On this second last syllable, Ayana kicked at the opposite shelves with the heel of her shoe, making the wooden frame shudder and some of the books rattle around. One particular book—a small, thin one high up on the very top shelf—tipped forward as if in slow motion until it was hanging precariously at an impossible angle, almost as if it was levitating, before tumbling end over end to the floor.

Tyler tried to catch it but he was too slow, and instead it crashed into the stack of papers, scattering them slightly, before it fell flat on its back, right side up right in front of them.

how to conjure
your very own dragon
in six easy steps

...read the front cover of THE BOOK in bright yellow letters against a wavy blue background.

Tyler frowned and Ayana stopped crying for a moment. They both stared at THE BOOK with wide-open eyes, neither of them quite able to believe what they were seeing.

“How to conjure a dragon?” Ayana asked, kneeling forward to grab THE BOOK.

Tyler crawled next to her as she opened the front cover.

THE BOOK was very thin—more like a pamphlet, really— with no table of contents, no copyright page, no dedication page. There wasn’t even an indication of who the author might be. It just went straight into the first chapter, which was entitled:

the water dragon

“A water dragon?” Tyler read over Ayana’s warm shoulder.
Underneath the chapter title was a brief list of the various characteristics of the water dragon.

category: lesser dragon
difficulty: medium
classification: common

Below that was a basic introduction and explanation of the dragon followed by some advice to those who might want to conjure one:

this spell is a relatively simple one, but be forewarned that the water dragon is a damp and clumsy creature, prone to making messes and causing trouble. It is recommended to have plenty of towels at hand when undertaking this conjuring.

Underneath this brief introduction was a list of materials needed to actually conjure the dragon.

required material(s): water, towels (optional)

And last but not least came the instructions, six simple steps to conjuring your very own dragon. Tyler could hardly believe what he was reading. The steps were so simple. Just a series of strangely specific hand gestures performed by two people simultaneously. The instructions even had little helpful sketches to help you understand what to do.

It reminded Tyler of IKEA assembly instructions when his parents bought new furniture and let him put it together for them. But that was furniture made of wood and fabric and those little IKEA screws that needed a special tool to screw them in. This was supposed to be a dragon, whatever that meant. How could such simplistic instructions possibly result in assembling anything, much less an actual dragon?

“We have to try this!” Ayana said excitedly.
There is an ongoing contest for readers to win a one-of-a-kind hardcover version of The Dragon of the Month Club with their artwork as the cover.

“Draw a picture! Write a story! Take a photograph! Bake some cookies! Mold a dragon out of clay! Knit one out of yarn! Make one out of LEGO! Whatever you want! Just let your imagination run wild because anything goes – the more creative the better! Send your dragon in and then on the 13th day of every month one entry will be chosen at random and featured on the official Dragon Of The Month Club website. Each month’s lucky winner will also receive a free one-of-a-kind personalized hard-cover edition of The Dragon Of The Month Club book featuring their winning artwork (or other creative content) on the cover or inside the book itself,” says Iain.

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
 Iain writes young adult novels. He is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/ Connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: If… Dangerous Waters (If… #3) by Jackie Mae

I received this book to give an honest review
Title: If... Dangerous Waters
Published:  July 20, 2015
Genres: paranormal
Pages: 40
Format: eBook
Buy the Book

Alena is young, intelligent, and going places. Graduating soon with a sought after degree, an upward career trajectory, and a kickass life plan in place, Alena has a stable life, close family and a terrific boyfriend. That is until Madame Psychic Orso changes Alena’s pathway forever. Alena’s newfound fears take on a life of their own. ‘If,’ will redirect and send her world into a tailspin. Probing dangerous new avenues she will discover something different than she’d expected. Can she recover? Will she even want to?