Tuesday, September 02, 2014

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAYS! Even In Death by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie - A collection of freakishly great short stories!

I am so proud and honored to be a part of the Even In Death Book Blast! My wonderful friend, Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie is a fantastic author and I can't wait to share my review with you! At the bottom of the post there are TWO FANTASTIC GIVEAWAYS! 


 

Title: Even In Death: A Short Story Collection
Author: Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

Published: August 4th, 2014 
Word Count: approx. 40,000
Genre: Short Story
Age Recommendation: 15+

Synopsis
Even In Death, a collection of ten short stories, explores the thin line between love and hate; extreme emotions even death cannot destroy.

Julie wants nothing more than to receive a flower bouquet from the hometown veterinarian. However, in “A Flower Story,” flowers are delivered long after a person is alive to smell them.

After purchasing their dream home, Sara and David feel truly blessed. Unfortunately, the couple soon discovers they’ve inherited a wicked curse. In fact, in “What’s Really There,” the former residents’ spirits refuse to move on.

In the title story, on the anniversary of his fiancés’ death, Mark realizes that he can see and communicate with spirits, including Amy’s. Can Mark and Amy’s love survive even in death?

“A Flower Story,” “What’s Really There,” and “Even In Death,” as well as the other seven stories in the collection are rife with emotion that will linger well after the last page.


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie lives in Warrenton, Virginia with her husband, two cats, and three dachshunds. She’s a middle school counselor, graduate student at Longwood University, (pursuing a degree in School Library Media) blogger, short story and Young Adult novel writer. When she’s not working, she’s traveling or dreaming of traveling. She’s been on several cross country road trips with her mom. In fact, Hawaii and Alaska are the only states she hasn’t been to.



EXCERPT
When Angelica adjusts her sunglasses, Olivia notices her best friend’s black eye.
“Oh, sweetie, what happened?” Olivia reaches across the sticky table for Angelica’s hands but she moves them quickly; as if Olivia’s touch is a flame that will burn her beyond recognition.
Angelica chews on her bottom lip. “Nothing.”
“I’m worried about you.”
“There’s nothing to worry about, Olivia.” She separates the ‘O’ from the ‘livia.’
A spunky orange haired waitress arrives at their table. Her name tag reads “Bad Susie” with a little devil sticker next to it. “Can I take your order?”
“Plain coffee, please,” Olivia says.
“Same here,” Angelica says.
Susie places a hand on her hip. “You sure you don’t want pancakes? Eggs and toast?”
They shake their heads.
Bad Susie tilts her head, focusing on Angelica. “You’re worth so much more.”
“What?” Angelica winces.
“You’re wearing sunglasses indoors, long sleeves and jeans, and it’s like eighty degrees outside. And your makeup is only partially covering your bruises. Obviously your boyfriend is a beater. Just know you’re worth more than that.” Before Angelica has a chance to respond, Susie moves to the next table.

GIVEAWAY!!
Giveaway Details
There is a tour wide giveaway.  Prizes include the following:
$10 Amazon GC (INT) and print copy of Even in Death (US)


RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET LINK

REVIEW
I have known Kristy for several years now, and I must say I had no idea just how dark she could write! This was a great reminder never to piss her off... hahaha... she was knocking off characters left and right! But let's get down to the truth of it. This was really spectacular writing. Ten short stories all tucked together in a frighteningly lovely package. 

One thing that immediately struck my mind while reading was her masterful use of psychology. As a school counselor, she has probably dealt with a great many issues, but Kristy nailed the psychotic and paranoid personas perfectly. Kind of freaked me out, actually ;)

These stories stretch across many issues and topics. From different mental disorders to abuse. From Paranormal to serendipity. From grief to recovery. It was a harmonious cornucopia of stories that blended into one delicious read. A Flower Story was incredibly moving. It forced me stop to absorb the harshness and ironic turn of events. A few stories made me seriously cringe, shudder and frankly weirded out. A Fine Winter Day and Motivator were delectably bizarre and I enjoyed both entire stories. What Caught My Senses had my mind flashing images of Stephen King movies. 

Two stories really stuck out to me. Kayanna Pepper and Even In Death. For Kayanna Pepper, it may be the subject matter (art) but the overall story was vivid and authentic. It flowed with purpose and left me a very satisfied reader at the finale. Dealing with tragedy is always tough. Everybody handles it uniquely. It can change our whole course of life and driving passions... or at least damper them for a while. This was a great example of overcoming the past and releasing the chains that bind people to guilt.  Even In Death was tragic. As in... break out the tissues. Shakespeare would love the whole thing... except the ending. The paranormal was not in your face but just part of the story, not the style. I love how Kristy used so many types of loss in just this one story. Not only the kinds of loved ones gone, but careers, families, marriages, entire futures. She created a story that was emotionally tough to read, but very moving at the end.

Bravo my friend, bravo. Well Done! I encourage everyone, especially those who love thrillers or gritty realism to hit Amazon today!


Friday, August 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan. This book completely disintegrated my mind!


Reason to Breathe (The Breathing Series #1)
BY: Rebecca Donovan

PUBLISHED: June 4, 2013 by Skyscrape 
GENRES: YA • Contemporary Fiction • Gritty Realism • Abuse • High School • Drama • Romance • Sports
READ: JUNE 2014 (softcover)



OVERVIEW:
USA Today Bestselling Novel
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide. 

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

•••
REVIEW:
Have you ever read a book that completely blew your mind? 
As in complete and utter melt down. 
Empty
black
nothingness...
inside your cranium. 

That was my shattered mind after reading this book. I literally had trouble functioning hours after I finished. Holy Mind Destruction. And I LOVED it. I absolutely loved every freaking syllable of this book.


This was beyond brilliant. This was so jammed pack with luscious story lines, complicated situations, moving character development and horrific details. The seriousness, the depth and the severe biting nature of the scenes were overwhelming.


Hallelujah! The angels were singing. My shoulders relaxed and I breathed deeply in that satisfied reader hangover mode. Having a giddy flashback moment... OK.. onward to the characters. My personal favorite was Sara, the BFF of Emma. She reminded me of Tarzan's best friend with her tenaciousness, her boldness, fierce loyalty and dazzling personality.


I could not help but fall in love with Evan. (Sigh) I mean... really. Who wouldn't. But there was a section in the book where he made my jaw drop and it took about thirty minutes to wire it shut. Scrumptious plot twist, oh yay!



The main character was Emma, a girl who shut everyone but Sara completely out of her life. She was so believable. Her emotions gutted me. The sheer determination, gumption and self control she had left me gobsmacked. I wanted to shake her, warn her, hug her and smother her in bubble wrap and take her home with me. All at the same time. 

Rebecca was able to wrench my heart from my chest with a dull spork and then carved it into mince meat with a blender. Some authors can make you feel. A precious few can literally pull a Potter move and suck you into the book and drop you smack dab into the middle of what was written, like you are living it. She is one of them.

For a majority of this book, I felt like I was watching a train wreck about to happen. You know... the slow motion, the inability to get their attention... the absolute horror that you know you'll see but you can't stop it from happening. I literally had to put the book down to wipe the sweat off my hands.


Rebecca masterfully incorporated everything a reader could want into one book. It was a smorgasbord of delicious writing ingredients, all incorporated and baked to delectable perfection. It was tension filled, drama infused, twisted, rich, raw, organic and believable. 

I have to break out the minions to truly express my now obsessive compulsive addiction to this series. Rebecca created a gem among the many CF books out there with the amount of complexity, harsh dynamics and impact.


Bravo, Rebecca. Bravo. 


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tonight's Reading Material

Guess what came in the mail today? Oh yeah. That's right! ON THE FENCE by Kasie West! No sleep tonight, baby.... 




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Advanced Copy of CHASING FREEDOM by Nicola S. Dorrington

CHASING FREEDOM 
BY: Nicola S. Dorrington


EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2014
Ebook Format

GENRES: YA • British • Supernatural • Werewolves • Vampires • Shapeshifters • Witches • Mind Readers & Clarvoyant • Action • Suspense • Mystery • Good vs Evil • Modern Day • Romance

 (technically 4.7)

NOTE: I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

BOOK OVERVIEW:
Chase Finn is being hunted, and if he ever stops running he’s going to end up dead.

It doesn’t matter that he’s only seventeen. It doesn’t matter that just a few weeks ago he was a normal teenager. All that matters is that he is a threat, and the Agents tracking him will stop at nothing to see him neutralised.

With the line between friends and enemies blurring, Chase discovers he is just a pawn in the middle of a war that’s lasted for centuries, but he isn’t going to let himself be used any longer.

Soon both sides of the war are going to learn that the most important thing about Chase Finn isn’t that he’s a werewolf, it’s that he’ll sacrifice everything, even his own freedom, for the people he loves.

• • • • • • • • • • • 
MAMA'S REVIEW:

Mmmmm.... This was a yummy read. Nicola created yet another British based novel that was a delight. I must say, this really fits the bill for someone looking for a true YA novel. The romance is light and very age appropriate. 



I just want to cut to the chase. (Hahahaha... I HAD to do that!) A gorgeous, rugby playing, British accented Werewolf who needs someone to be there for him? Yes please! Sign me up!


Nicola has a very unique style of writing that I quite enjoy. I loved how she took so many different character types and melded them into one cohesive storyline that worked. The characters meshed well and I thought (apart from Chase) that the secondary characters really shone.

As for the romance (rolling up sleeves)... it was organic, natural and well paced. Instant attraction, yes. But no insta-love. YAY! The crowd roars!!! It couldn't help but be reminded of the Beauty and the Beast kiss while reading it. Chase is this big, beast who's beautiful inside and out. Vix is the quite, delicate yet strong and determined brown haired beauty. SIGH. Will they fall in love? Will they ever kiss? HA! No spoilers here my friends! ;) (EVIL GRIN)


There are a host of other characters in the book that I thought fell into the lame duck category. You know the types: angst ridden, masochistic, guilt ridden and frozen with doubt. Will they get back on that horse or are the doomed to stay locked up in the prison of their own making?


I find that the storyline, though paranormal is very rateable. People go through all kinds of changes and sometimes those closest to us can deal with it, and sometimes they can't. How do we handle rejection and how do we process unexpected detours in life? What if you had your whole life mapped out in front of you and then BAM! something happens. You're whole life plan is out the window. What do you do?

There were a few grammatical housekeeping items I saw that needed to be polished up early in the book but overall I felt the writing was excellent. British life fascinates me and I love to read from that point of view. Character development is a big point for me. She subtly but dramatically molded each personality throughout the story. I remember reading a line saying to myself, "Wow, when did they grow up?" That kind of finesse is hard to accomplish.

Nicola had quite a bit of tension and drama throughout the book. A couple of scenes had me reaching for tissues or freaking out. You always know if a book is a good one if it pulls emotional responses out of you. 


This isn't listed as a series but I really, really, REALLY hope Nicola adds to the story. There was a MIGHTY big cliff hanger that has me dangling and it is a moral imperative that I find out what happens! So Nicola, (I know you're reading this) PLEASE put me out of my misery and tell me there are more installments coming!! Also, I must say I love the cover graphic with the moon, trees and model! Love it. LOOOOOOVVVEEE it!!

I urge you guys to go get a copy and read it today! Well done my friend! 





NEW! BOOK RELEASE TODAY JUNE 10th! THE MURDER COMPLEX BY LINDSAY CUMMINGS

I am beyond excited for this long awaited release from my friend, Author Lindsay Cummings!


THE MURDER COMPLEX
BY: Lindsay Cummings


RELEASE DATE: TODAY! JUNE 10, 2014

GENRES: Dystopian • Sci Fi • YA • Thriller • Romance • Mystery • Action 

AGE RECOMMENDATION: 15+

BOOK OVERVIEW: 
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.


CLICK TO THE BOOK's LINKS ON:  Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble!

Monday, June 09, 2014

The migraine month from Hades... but I'm medicated now ;)

Hi everyone! 

I am so sorry I've been off the air. I had a three week long migraine that made my vision double and triplicate. I couldn't see to type! Then after I got a shot and new medicines to fix that... my vertigo acted up. It was bad. Bad. Bad. BAD. So now I've gotten my equilibrium back I will be posting frequently to catch up as much as I can. I hope you have been reading! 

Much love, 
MAMA B

Thursday, May 22, 2014

WINNERS! Abbi Glines Contest!

We have WINNERS FOR THE ABBI GLINES GIVEAWAY!!!


I will be contacting the winners via email! Thanks for entering!







Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NEW RELEASE: DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige

DOROTHY MUST DIE (Dorothy Must Die, #1) 



Written by Danielle Page
Published: April 1, 2014 by HarperCollin

GENRES: Fantasy • YA • Retellings / Fairy Tales • Magic  & Witches • Adventure • Paranormal 

REVIEW BY WENDY HIGGINS, author
"Fantastical and full of fun! Such a cool stinkin' idea. Danielle Paige is a doll and she's got a new fan. *points to self* :-)"

BOOK OVERVIEW: 
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

NEW RELEASE! NOW & FOREVER by Susane Colasanti

NOW & FOREVER just hit bookshelves!



Written by Susane Colasanti
Published by Penguin Teen

GENRES: YA • Music • Contemporary Romance 

BOOK OVERVIEW:

What if your boyfriend was the world's biggest rockstar?

Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she's ever met, but he's an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he's believed he has what it takes to be a star.

When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he's thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity-and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she's attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan's monumental sold-out concerts.

It's a dream come true...but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when "forever" comes to an end?


You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million

BOOK TO FILM NEWS! New film in Pre-Production


Stephenie Meyer is at the Producing helm again with this film adaptation of Down A Dark Hill, written by Lois Duncan. (Who is known for writing I Know What You Did Last Summer)...

First published in 1990, this book is a paranormal suspense thriller. Full of ghosts, Gothic tones and mystery.

BOOK OVERVIEW:
Why does the exclusive boarding school Blackwood have only four students?

Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What terror waits around the next corner?

RELEASE DATE: None has been issued so far as it is in development.
Stay tuned for more details!



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bad eyes, migraines & reminders


I have been struck by the demon of pain this week. My head has felt like it was stuck in a blender, rolled over by truck and smashed with hammers. I had to go get my eyes checked since my vision was going and I had to sport these extra lovely shades.

But I wanted to remind everyone that the Abbi Glines contest ends tonight at midnight so hurry and enter!

These gems have hit shelves too so be sure to check these out!