Saturday, December 29, 2012


didn't meet my Goodreads goal of 50 books read this year, which seems crazy since I feel like I’m always reading. I have compiled a list of my favorite reads for 2012. Three of the books are not shown in the picture above are eBooks. I’m just barely getting into the world of reading eBooks and it’s a great find. Enjoy my list of favorite books.

You have read 34 books toward your goal of 50 books. 

Yes, I know it should be top ten. I tried and tried to eliminate 5 books but I couldn't  They are all “must reads” and ones I will read over and over again. They are in order that I read them this year not in order of favoritism.

Without further ado, here are my picks for best reads this year:
  1. Dangerous Favor (book-review-Dangerous-favor)
  2. City of Lost  Souls (book-review-city-of-lost-souls)
  3. Pride and Popularity (book-review-pride-and-popularity)
  4. Northanger Alibi (book-review-of-northanger-alibi)
  5. Midnight in Austenland (book-review-of-midnight-in-austenland.)
  6. Slayers (book-review-of-slayers)
  7. Jane Austen and the Archangel (book-review-of-jane-austen-and-the-archangel)
  8. Erasing Time (book-review-of-erasing-time)
  9. Eona (book-review-of-eona)
  10. Eragon (book-review-of-eragon)
  11. Dreamspell (book-review-of-dreamspell)
  12. The Darlings ( book-review-darlings)
  13. The Unveiling (the-unveiling-age-of-faith-series)
  14.  Persuaded (book-review-persuaded)
  15. Emmalee (book-review-of-emmalee)
Here are my prized possessions, my bookshelf.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Jane Austen Diaries series is one of my favorites, It's giving Twilight a run for it's money.

I posted two book reviews on my Anything but Normal blog since that is where I'm working on my YA novels and so more appropriated to review YA books there, but I wanted to share it on this blog too since this is where I post most of my reviews. Even though these books are YA and the characters are about 20 years younger than me I really enjoy to read them. The Jane Austen Diaries is a series of Jane Austen books turned into a modern day stories. The author is great about staying true to the theme and characters Jane Austen created but making it relevant enough for us to understand what's happening today. It's a great way to get kids interested in Jane Austen. The heroine and hero in all her stories are real and very likable. They will appeal to kids today but still give them an uplifting story. I give major props to Jenni James for coming up with such a great idea. I've read and reviewed all four books from the Jane Austen Diaries, two more are planned and I can't wait to read them.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Unveiling Age of Faith Series: Book One By Tamara Leigh

Revenge and True Love, all wrapped into a great story

Lady Annyn Bretanne was not very ladylike at all, at 14 she was as tomboyish as you can get. Her brother and Uncle are the only family members she has left.  She was distraught when Jonas was sent away to Knight training.

Baron Wulfrith’s father had raised him to believe women were trouble. When his tough, hard-hearted father passed away Wulfrith became in charge of the Knight training, where women were never allowed.

When young squire Jonas Bretanne dies and is brought back to him family Annyn is heartbroken. She doesn't believe Wulfrith’s story that her brother died an honorable death because she sees the rope burns on his neck. She vows to avenge her brothers death and trains for the next four years. When her Uncle dies, Duke Henry, the future King, plans to marry her off. She runs away and pretends to be a boy taking on the name of another young squire on his way to the training to become knight. Annyn looks the part of a boy and has been trained by her families guard Rowan. Nothing could prepare her for how hard Knight Training really is. When she comes face to face once again with Wulfrith she can’t wait to take her knife to him and once and for all revenge her brother’s murder.  Wulfrith surprises Annyn with kindness, justice, and fairness. He doesn’t fit the description of a cold blooded killer and she can’t help questioned everything.

The story is gripping and keeps you wondering. You’re worried the whole time when Annyn will get her revenge or will her true identity be revealed. When all is UNVEILED, there is much more to her brother’s death. You’d never think a beautiful love story would develop from all this action but it does. Not only is it a revenge story but about finding true love where you least expect it. Annyn doesn't act like a lady and defiantly is no one's property. She is different than most women of her time; A time when arranged marriages are made for profit instead of love. If her true love will have her, they will have to go against the future King's wishes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Book Review The Darlings by Cristina Alger

This book is like a puzzle, different characters are introduced and you don’t know how all the pieces come together, but they do come together and very compellingly. The time stamps before the chapters keep the excitement going. You experience with the Darling family what should’ve been a festive Thanksgiving weekend and instead you live the nightmare of how quickly your whole world can turn upside down. You meet many different characters and you have sympathy for them and how they got to this point.  It really gives you the inside view of the rich and famous of the financial world. 

While reading, I pictured many characters from the TV series “Dirty Sexy Money.” 
I also pictured the high-society of “Gossip Girl” but a lot more sophisticated. 

It makes sense that Bravo and Fox Television are developing the novel into a TV series; it will be very intriguing and I’m eager to see it come to life. The author was very knowledgeable in the financial world. All the characters were very real and when they were introduced you got a real feel of who they are and what makes them tick. I’m looking forward to  reading this continued series, it's great writing.  

Buy the book and learn more about author Cristina Alger @

Cristina Alger graduated from Harvard College in 2002 and from New York University School of Law in 2007.  She has worked as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. and as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, & Dorr.  She lives in New York City, where she was born and raised.The Darlings is her first novel and she is currently working on her next book.
You can see the dates for Cristina’s Darlings tour here. To keep up with news and events for Cristina and the book click here.

I received this book for free from Penguin Books for an honest review.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Haines Alaska Tour Guide: LOOK MA...I"M ON TV

Check out this awesome blog of my sister Holly on TV!!!!!
Haines Alaska Tour Guide: LOOK MA...I"M ON TV: HOWDY FOLKS - Tour Guide Holly here... Angie Goodwin's winning Christmas Card  First things first - The Big Winner of my Chris...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review of Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh

I loved, loved, loved this story. You get the best of two worlds, Historical romance and time travel. I like reading historical fiction and this one has a unique twist with time travel. It is a plausible way to time travel because who knows what our brains are capable of. You root for the Dream Dr, Nedy, you hope she will over come her battle with cancer. You don't know who the bad guy is and who she can trust. This is going on my list of favorite reads for 2012.

Click on links below to learn more about the author and to purchase this book. It's an eBook for only $2.99 and worth every penny!

Tamara Leigh is the wife of one, the mother of two, a once-upon-a-time Speech and Language Pathologist, and an award-winning best-selling author with RandomHouse and HarperCollins. She began her writing career in the general market and now writes inspirational romance. 
For nearly 20 years, I have been blessed to have my stories published by traditional publishers, including RandomHouse, HarperCollins, and Bantam Books. Now, due to the increasing popularity of e-readers, a new path to publication has opened. With the release of Dreamspell, I have joined the ranks of other traditionally published authors who are exploring the electronic format by releasing out-of-print books in the hopes of finding new readers, revamping old titles to give them new life, and offering new titles (hello!). I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Dreamspell, my fifteenth published novel that also stands as my first novel to debut via virtual bookshelves.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review of Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I've been on a dragon-book reading kick this year. I decided to give this series a try. I was not disappointed.  Eragon is an adolescent boy who grew up hearing the stories of the Empire. When he finds a rock he’s thrown in the middle of the legend. The rock hatches and turns out to be a dragon. He's connected to the dragon Saphira. They communicate telepathically. Eragon learns from an old story-teller Brom that he’s a Rider. Brom teaches him how to use magic and about the responsibility involved with being a Rider. This first book is a lot of set up and unknown. Most of the book is Brom training Eragon while they are on a revenge run. The exciting part comes when Eragon meets up with Arya, who's an elf. To save her life Eragon has to get her to Varden. Varden is hidden in the mountains; A place where humans and dwarfs have been living in safety. Safe until Eragon brings the wicked King's army chasing after him. A war breaks out and the end is just the beginning. We have a hint of romance which of course always sparks my interest. Similar to Lord of the Rings, we have elf's, humans, and dwarfs coming together to conquer evil. It's a completely different world and very visual writing.

In the middle of reading I became interested in the author. I found he started these books at age 16 and was published at age 19. His family published the books and he traveled around marketing them. I was very impressed with the depth of the story and great writing from someone so young.

I know there is a movie based on the book. I heard it didn't do well in the box office. I imagine it doesn't do the book justice, because if the movie would have followed the story Christopher Paolini created it should be a box office hit. 

I'm happy to just read the stories and let my imagination be entertained. I'm excited to read book two since things are just getting started.

Learn more about the series, Christopher Paolini, and purchase the book at:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I entered the Short Story Competition by Writer's Digest

Today was the deadline October 31st and believe me it was the scariest thing I did for Halloween to hit the submit button. 

Thanks to my wonderful editors: Beulah, Holly, Brenda, Casey, and Jason.

This is what I'm going to win:

  • Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize including $2,500 and a trip to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City.
  • A $500 Category First Prize
  • Get your romance story promoted in Writer’s Digest and on
  • Win $100 off a purchase at
  • Receive a copy of the 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
I will be notified of my winnings by Dec 31st. Send all your positive energy my way! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Review of Face the Fire Book #3 of Three Sisters Island

Face the Fire (Three Sisters Island, #3)

This isn't my favorite series of Nora Roberts. The first book of the series was the best one and I think it was mainly because I really liked the characters. In this 3rd book it was O.K. I liked Mia but she was a little harder to relate too. I loved her skills as a witch and a crafty business women. Her Cafe bookstore was one of my favorite locations. I was given a writing challenge last week and I had to come up with one sentence to describe my current read. Here is what I came up with: "Witches of the Three Sister Island have to come together to save the island from the same fate as Atlantis."That sums up the series perfectly.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review of book two in the Three Sisters Island

In the series, Three Sisters Island, book two is my least favorite book because of the main character Ripley. I liked getting to know more about Nell and Zach's life together from book one. But Ripley is a tom-boy cop, who has a major chip on her shoulder. I don't mind a tough women but she was right down nasty. She threw adult temper tantrums for no reason.  Mac, who was rich and extremely smart, pursued Ripley even though she made it clear she wasn't interested. He took all kinds of crap from Ripley and nothing stopped him, which to me wasn't realistic at all.  I do like Nora’s writing and I guess not every character she writes will always be lovably and wonderful. I enjoyed reading about the Three Sisters Island located on the east coast.  I craved clam chowder and all kinds of wonderful soups as I read.  Cafe Book is just the kind of wonderful place you’d want to hang out with a great book while eating Nell’s delicious homemade soup and don’t forget her dessert.  Now on to the third book in the series; Mia is a strong, beautiful, the owner of Cafe book and it’s her time to shine.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review of Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is one of those authors that I can read over and over again. I've read these books years ago but decided to give it another whirl since its October and reading about witches should be fun. Nora doesn't need my reviews to help others buy her book but here are my thoughts. Nell Channing escaped her abusive relationship by faking her own death. Talk about going to the extreme. Nell is drawn to the small Three Sisters Island. She is determined to start over and her timing is perfect as she finds herself in a cute bookstore/cafe and overhears one of the staff quitting, making a break to New York. Before her controlling marriage Nell had been in a catering business with her mother. Mia the owner of the bookstore is beautiful and exotic with flowing red hair and feels an instant kinship with Nell. She gives her the job running the cafe. Throughout the whole book my mouth is watering for all the tasty treats Nell makes. Not only does Mia give Nell a job but a cute yellow house by the sea to rent. When the sexy irresistible sheriff Zach Todd comes sniffing around asking questions Nell tries to avoid him. He is attracted to her and knows she needs protection. Mia helps Nell face her true destiny of being a witch. Her relationship with Zach develops and the question looms over her, will she be able to hide her true identity from him?
I liked shutting my brain off for a quick and easy read. It's not reality but I don't read for reality. And so I read the next book in the series about Ripley Todd, sister to Zach and deputy, fighting against her destiny.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Review of A Candlelight Courting by Joyce DiPastena

This is a beautifully written short story of love found in the most unusual places. Meg or Christina, the name Meg wants to be called is determined to become a nun. She doesn't want to marry Burthred as her parents had arranged in her infancy. Meg is now eighteen and Burthred ten years older is ready to marry. Meg’s father is angered that his only child wants to be a nun. On Christmas Eve, Meg stays in her room praying while everyone is having a joyful Christmas feast. Her father tricks her into coming face to face with Burthred. She has never seen him and up close she can't help be in admiration of his knightly stature, tall and manly. There is a sensitive side that she had not expected from him. They both have secrets they think will make them an ill match. The characters Meg and Burthred are endearing. You feel their doubts and joys as if you knew them. It’s a delightful story and you’re sad that it ends so quickly. Candlelight Courting is a sweet and lovely tale.

Purchase your copy today for only $1.99 @

Joyce DiPastena is another person on my list of authors who have by example helped me develop my talent and press forward on my career to become a writer. I've been wanting to write a short story about Princess Kristina and reading this story has really motivated me. I can only hope that I can master the talent as Joyce has. Her stories bring you in and make you feel like your in the room experiences everything right with the characters. I'm still pondering the story of Meg and Burthred and I wanting more.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review of "The Lady of the Rivers" by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory does it again with another gripping and wonderful story about a strong woman in history. I've thoroughly enjoyed "The Cousins' War" series and absolutely loved "The White Queen." When reading it, I too couldn't help wonder about the mother of the white queen, Jacquetta. I'm happy that Philippa was inspired to write her story in "The Lady of the Rivers." It starts when Jacquetta was a young lady and befriended Joan of Arc and learns from Joan's tragic end that women who were powerful could be silenced by men who didn't understand their special powers. Jacquetta's first marriage was to a much older man, Duke of Bedford, but lucky for her he wanted her for her special powers of sight and not her body. This is where Jacquetta meets Richard Woodville, a faithful squire to the Duke. Richard is always by Jacquetta's side and when the Duke dies they finally profess their love to each other. It is a wondrous love story about marrying someone for love and not for the advancement in your status. It's quite evident that Jacquetta and Richard are truly and deeply in love by all the children they produce. The secrets Jacquetta keep are huge as she stands by her queen while others turn against the sickly King of England. Phillipa in the Author's Note speaks about Jacquetta : "Why she has not been studied is a mystery to me. But she belongs to that large population of women whose lives have been ignored by historians in favor of the lives of prominent men." That is one of the things I love best about Philippa Gregory’s stories is she explores the lives of strong women that otherwise we would know little about.

Read more about the series at Philippa Gregory's website:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book review of “Eona” by Alison Goodman

*This review will have spoilers if you haven’t read book one.

The sequel to Eon is one of the best stories I've read in a long time. It was grabbing from the very beginning and didn't let you rest until it was over. And even after it was over I couldn't stop thinking about the book. I really wish it would go on and on. To me it was comparable to some of the best epic fantasy stories like, Sword of truth series and the Lord of Rings series.

The story starts right off after Eona’s real gender has been revealed and the kingdom has been conquered by the King’s evil brother Sethon. Kygo should have taken the King’s place after his death but instead Sethon has taken the Kingdom by force. Eona has seen many people slaughtered and almost all the other Dragoneye’s and appreciates have been killed by Lord Ion. After they escape Ryko has been wounded and is on his dying bed. Dela begs Eona to save him and she finds that her healing powers make him a slave to everything she wills him to do. Ryko despises her for making him a slave. Their group finds the Emperor Kygo and they start making plans to help him win back the throne.  A romance develops between Eona and Kygo but Eona doesn’t know if she can trust him. Does he really want her or just her power over her dragon to win a war?  Eona tells the Emperor that they will have to breakout Lord Ion from Sethon’s prison so he can teach Eona how to control her dragon. When they find Lord Ion he is almost dead from torture. Eona heals him and he becomes her slave. They are the last two Dragoneye’s left and a special bond develops between them. Even though Lord Ion killed all the other Dragoneye’s and was their enemy, Eona senses a change in him. She keeps many secrets from everyone especially Emperor Kygo. Her friends Dela and Ryko are starting to think that she is becoming more like Lord Ion and desires power.  In the end Eona is torn between two very different men. Everybody wants her power to rule and Eona has to decide who she can trust. 

Learn more about Alison Goodman:

To purchase book:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review of Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

Time travel, Love, Escape, and Death all wrapped into a gripping tale

What an exciting book! Identical twins, Taylor and Sheridan get abducted into the 25th century. Lots of things have changed in the future and defiantly not for the good. Echo and his dad Jeth are "wordsmiths" who studied and fluently speak the English version of the 21st century. They are called in to help the scientist figure out what went wrong from the two girls. The Time machine made the mistake and brought two teenage girls instead of the scientist they were searching for. Echo's twin Joseph was recently killed by the evil Dakine’s group who has more power and control than the government.  Echo is ready to escape but his plans change as he becomes attached to Sheridan and wants to help her. Taylor who is the genius of the twins comes up with a dangerous plan to destroy the time machine, hoping to prevent anyone else from experiencing the same terrible fate of being stuck in the future. They have to do this and escape before the government erases their memory and installs a tracking device.
C.J. Hill's word-play was spectacular. With the slang we use today the girls were able to disguise what they were planning. It was hilarious to see through the eyes of those in the future how ridiculous those sayings really are. The story kept you wondering, who was bad? Who could they trust? How would they ever return home? The conclusion was nail-biting to the very end. A must read, not only for Sci-Fi fans but those who enjoy a good love story.

To purchase:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book review of “Jane Austen and the Archangel” by Pamela Aares

Jane has moved to Chawton with her mom and sister Cassandra. Jane is in a terrible state of not being able to write her next novel and worrying over her friend Serena. Serena’s fiancé went to war in Spain and never returned. It’s been two years and her family is forcing her to move on and marry an awful man, Lord Rendin. As Jane receives a letters from Serena the letter carrier introduces himself as Michael Grace. There is something intriguing about him. When he arrives on Jane’s doorstep on a rainy day she invites in him for tea. She knows it’s improper but admits to herself that being near him overthrows all propriety. When Jane confides in Michael concerning her worries over her friends missing fiancés, he immediately assures her that he has connections in Spain that can maybe assist. Michael who really is an archangel doesn’t know why he is so drawn to help Jane and see her happy.  Jane goes to Serena’s place in Anderley to help her friend with a scheme to show the true character of Lord Rendin. As the plan unfolds, Jane finds herself facing truths that even her imagination couldn’t come up with. The lengths that Michael goes through to bring happiness to Jane even surprises him.

It’s a fascinating and brilliant love story.  As stated in the novel Jane admits, “She’d read about such things, had thought she knew what Dante and Shakespeare had meant when they’d penned their words about pure love, about love beyond imagining, love beyond words.  But she’d never had an inkling.”

Those of us who enjoy Jane Austen’s work sometimes feel a little sad for her as she wrote such beautiful love stories and in her real life its unknown if she ever found true love.  In “Jane Austen and the Archangel” we learn that she has loved deeper and stronger than most could ever dream of. A well crafted novel by Pamela takes us into a new world and gives us the peace of mind that Jane truly knew love. 

To learn more about Pamela and her wonderful book, go to:

To purchase her book, go to:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review of Slayers by C.J. Hill

I’m a believer! Dragons really do exist.  After reading “Slayers” by C.J. Hill the storyline is plausible. Dragons may have disappeared but their return and attack on mankind is inevitable.  All the stories in medieval times that Dragons exist are not fables but true. What’s great about this book is its happening today right in your own town. Well this story takes place in Washington DC but no one is safe from the return of Dragons!

Tori a rich girl who always dreamt of dragons and obsessed over them being real found Dragon camp and this summer finally talked her parents into letting her go. She hoped it would help her figure out why she believed in dragons. She gets off on the wrong foot with the other campers as two good looking guys try to help her carry her heavy luggage she brought and she mistakes them for bell hops.  The other campers have been attending Dragon camp since they were 11 years old so they are tight-knit group.

Tori quickly learns two different camps are going on… the normal geeky people who are obsessed with mystical creatures and the advance Dragon camp where they have special powers and are actually training to kill these “mystical” creatures.  Dr. B who created this Dragon camp for the sole purpose to finding Slayers knows dragons are real first hand. His family had worked for a Dragon Lord, Overdrake. They could control dragons and wanted to use the power to control America. The Overdrake’s plan was to protect the dragon eggs that had been dormant for 150 years and as soon as they hatched they planned to attack and take control of the government. When the eggs were moved to Washington D.C. 17 years ago it activated the DNA of the descendants of the original knights who were Dragon Slayers. These kids all had special powers that only kicked in when a dragon were nearby. Tori didn’t know if she wanted any part of putting her life on the line.

Tori can’t help being attracted to Team Jesse with his tall, dark, and handsome features and Team Dirk with his blonde, blue eyes, and surfer boy attitude; really they are the “team” captains. That is how they train by competing against each other and they are very competitive. Tori’s way behind in training and very frustrated because she doesn’t know her purpose in the group. Her special power is she can hear what the dragon hears, which for now, as an egg is a heartbeat. How special is that?

This story is exciting and keeps you speculating what will happen next. Not everybody is who they claim to be and with their lives on the line they have to decide who they can trust.

Ryker is a side story of the boy who got away but I can’t wait until the second book when he finally joins the group and find out his powers. I believe he will be powerful and just what the other Slayers need to finally rid the world of Dragons.

To purchase:

For more information about the book and to watch the book trailer go to:

ME and C.J. Hill at Changing Hands bookstore 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review of Eon by Alison Goodman

I started reading this book and then put it down and I even read some other books in between reading Eon. It was interesting and well written; I just had a hard time getting into the story. Eon is a young crippled "boy" who has some special powers. He's going against better skilled warriors trying to become apprentices of the Rat Dragoneye. The setting felt like Ancient China, very similar setting and story line of Mulan. It was a fantasy world with dragons and mystical powers. The king is dying and his young prince is preparing to rule. The King's wicked brother is trying to rule instead. With wicked minion's like Dragoneye  Ido it looks like they will succeed. There are many great characters in this story. Eon frustrated me at times as he keeps a lot of secrets, even from those who could help. The author’s descriptions were original and painted the scene perfectly. It’s surprising how well smells can describe a person. I like reading epic fantasies and this one defiantly has all the makings of a great one. A lot of bad things happen and the good guy isn't always coming out on top in this book. A little slow in the beginning and it wasn't until more than half way through the book that the action started really pulling me in.  It’s a great story about a girl having to hide her gender and pretend to be a boy to survive in a male-dominated world. I will most likely read book two Eona. I think I might like it better, since the story-line of a powerful Dragoneye and her female dragon sparks my interest.    

Book Review of Midnight in Austenland

Absolutely loved this book! (I really enjoyed the first book "Austenland" and can't wait for the movie to come out.) "Midnight in Austenland" took me by surprise and I think I loved it even more than book one, which I didn't think was possible. This wasn't a real sequel, it was different main characters but the setting was the same place. I was expecting more of the same kind of story from book one but it had twists and turns that I never saw coming. Charlotte our heroin is a discarded wife and sometimes you want to slap her because she is like a front-door mat letting everyone walk all over her, especially her slimy cheating x-husband.
Charlotte becomes a big fan of Jane Austen and loves all her books. So spending two weeks in England in the Jane Austen world is just the break she needs from her x-husband and this way her two children can spend time with their dad and new step mom.
The experience at Austenland is completely authentic to 1816. Charlotte is there with two other ladies who are on vacation too and the three gentlemen there will woo them and at the end of the vacation a ball will take place and everyone is sure to get a happy ending with a proposal. Of course all of this experience is playacting but sometimes acting can become terrifyingly real.
Charlotte has an active imagination and on a dark and stormy night during a game of "bloody murder” she is sure that she touches and see's the hand of a dead body. 
Even though the story becomes a murder mystery the author is genius in her writing and there were so many things that made me laugh out loud. The “Internal Thought” is the comic release. There are so many lines that are my favorite. For instance, "It's a universal truth that nothing spoils a postlunch game of croquet like suspecting the other players of murder."
The writing was original and painted a picture with words; like, "She seemed to be floating all over the place. Someone could tie a string to her and sell her at carnivals."
Another good line, "Truth is a sword, and though it be good, it cuts."
Jane Austen lovers you will be thrilled with this modern day reenactment resort. You get the “Pride and Prejudice” brooding Mr.Mallery (like Mr. Darcy) and Edmund Grey (like Bingley). Charlotte becomes like Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey” as she sneaks around the place trying to solve a murder. And you get a little “Emma” too as Charlotte is a nice girl helping everyone to a fault.
  Shannon Hale does it again with another witty tale and is a heroin in her own right.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review of A Discovery of Witches

Discovery of Witches is a great story about two highly educated professors finding an old book and trying to find its meaning. Throwing the paranormal into the mix you have a very exciting tale. Diana is a witch, but since the death of her parents as a young child she has refused to embrace that lifestyle. No matter how much she pushes her witch skills aside it's very clear that her powers are special. When she is the only one who can open an important document it attracts all kinds of creatures. A very interested and sexy vampire, Matthew, who’s an Oxford professor, witches, and daemons all start coming out of the woodwork to see what Diana does. These creatures live among us with careers and are aware of each other but the one cardinal rule is they don’t mix with each other romantically. When Matthew brings it upon himself to protect Diana she quickly falls in love. The two can’t be together because it’s upsets the Congregation which is a council set up of vampires, witches, and daemons.

I enjoyed the love story and became Team Matthew! Diana is very interesting because she’s honest and straight forward. I love when they go to France to protect Diana from her own kind, the witches who are out to get her. I loved the castle they stay in, Matthew’s mom, their servant, and the horses they ride. It was all magical and lovely.  The relationship between Matthew and Diana grow quickly. The Congregation comes to put a stop to their growing relationship and threatens the lives of those they love.

Diana goes to spend time with her Aunts in New York to  better understand her kind. Her Aunt's house is alive and very temperamental with ghostly ancestors living there too. With some very exciting events the book ends with everyone having to go different ways. I look forward to finding out what happens in  book two, Shadow of Night, which will mix my two favorite genres, historical and paranormal. Deborah is an excellent writer and I think everyone who loves a good story will enjoy the series. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

My review: You've seen the headlines and news feeds that do just what is happening in this story. A wife goes missing and we all suspect the husband. This story shows us the inside story of what it's like for those going through this horrific experience. The media will post a picture completely out of context and try to lead the viewers to judge before all the information is out. Guilty or not, you really feel for Nick as his life is turned upside down when his beautiful, intelligent wife Amy goes missing on their 5th anniversary. Nick and Amy's parents have plenty of possible suspects because people are always so obsessed with Amy. She brings that out in others, they just wanted to be her friend or worse, be her. Nick has many secrets that he keeps from the police which doesn't help his case. His lack of being able to show feelings in public and his Chester-cat-grin doesn't help his situation at all. This story keeps you reading on the edge and nothing is what it seems. The story feels vaguely familiar like it was based off of A True Crime story, and really opened my eyes to the truth behind the headline. Gillian is a brilliant writer and knows how to keep you in suspense.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review of “Northanger Alibi” by Jenni James

Claire Hart is obsessed with “Twilight” and so when she has an opportunity to go with family friends to Seattle for the summer she is ecstatic. She meets the Russo twins Tony and Nora and she thinks they are going to be weird but instead finds them very intriguing. The twins take them out on the town to show them the Seattle sites. Claire starts to recognize some weird similarities about Tony and “Edward.” Not only is Tony drop dead gorgeous but he keeps staring at her and answers things she is only thinking. Oh no he can read minds! Claire accidently touches his chest and he is like stone. When they go to the top of the Space Needle’s very expensive restaurant Tony doesn’t eat his food. Claire is convinced.

Cassidy, Claire’s older sister who was forced to come on this summer trip with Claire as a chaperone thinks Claire is completely crazy. Claire gives Cassidy “Twilight” to read so she can see for herself that Tony is a vampire. Cassidy doesn’t leave the house the rest of the trip while she is obsessed reading the whole “Twilight” series.

On a shopping trip with Nora, a tall, dark, mysterious man walks right up to Claire and kisses her. She is shocked but not completely turned off. When she finds out his name is Jaden Black and he’s from the Quileute Native American tribe Claire is sure she’s meet a real life werewolf. Tony acts jealous when he hears about the kiss. Claire who never dated back home and never had been kissed finds it very exhilarating to have two men fighting over her. Claire had no idea that coming to Seattle would put her in the middle of the Twilight saga.

LOL! I loved this story because I could relate to the obsession with “Twilight” and I loved that Cassidy started reading and couldn’t put down the series (been there done that.) Claire is young and naïve but you grow to adore her wild ideas. Claire is the youngest sister of Chloe who was the main character in “Pride and Popularity.” I love the spin off idea, this way we can hear a little tidbit about the characters we learned to love in previous books. This was a perfect adaption to Jane Austen’s story where a young girl leaves her small town and goes to a busy city. The character Catherine in Northanger Abbey let her imagination from reading get the best of her and it was a great similarity of Claire letting the Twilight story get mixed with her real life experiences.

 Bravo Jenni!  What a great idea taking something we can all relate too in our modern times and showing that the same issues were prevalent in 1790. This book made me snicker at my own obsession with Twilight.

To purchase:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Be Social "Like", "Circle", "Follow", "Tweet", "Pin" and "Post"

Are you social enough? There are so many ways to reach your customers these days.

In Facebook we want people to “like” and "share"

Right now we have a contest for the 50th person to "like" us on Geodepress's Facebook they win a free book of ZENOBIA - Birth of a Legend. 

Google + we want our “circle” to grow we need “followers” 

Twitter you want people to “tweet” too.

So many social networks, so little time. 

Here is a great article I received from The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter.
The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter By
Even though they are speaking about Twitter the information below is very useful in all social networks.

“The key to remember with social media is that it’s about engagement.
The number one rule in social media when you are first starting out is to listen.
Most businesses start off by not listening and go straight into “talking”, promoting and pushing content. And most of those companies get very little use out of social media.
To start off on a good foot, search for keywords in your industry and see what conversations are happening. Listen to what people are saying about your brand; listen to what they’re saying about your industry. If you see a conversation that you can join, then do so. Don’t try to sell a product when you join a conversation, but rather provide value. You can do this by: Offering helpful answers (be as unbiased as possible), try to solve problems that your customers may have, and point people in the right direction (say if someone is looking for your returns policy).”

Here is another article on The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter by Patrick O’Keefe. I found it very interesting and it will broaden your social media even more.

“The social web is a big place. It’s always funny to me when I meet people who think it primarily consists of Facebook and Twitter. If you believe that, you really are missing a majority of the social web. It’s a lot bigger and more diverse than that.
Forums and structured, focused communities offer a great deal of value, representing a concentrated audience of the people that you probably want to reach. They are engaging now, around your company, your products and your industry. I’m not saying everyone should join a forum and start contributing, just that you should be aware of them as a legitimate, powerful platform. Engaging with individual forums should be a strategic option you consider, right alongside engaging with people on Facebook and Twitter. They are worth your consideration.”

Happy Socializing! 

*Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

BOOK REVIEW TIME AGAIN! Pride and Popularity by Jenni James

Chloe doesn’t care to be part of the popular crowd and for sure doesn’t want to be part of the Taylor Anderson fan club. Ever since the first time Chloe meets Taylor she sees how conceited he is and she vows not be a part of all those girls that swoon over him. Chloe’s senior year lands her in art class with Taylor and he sits at her table with her two best friends. She tries and tries not to fall for his stunning good looks and charm but it becomes obvious to everyone around her that Taylor is into her and she doesn’t believe it. Taylor is rich and always has a cheerleader as a girlfriend so why would he be interested in her? As they butt heads many times Chloe has to come to terms with her true feelings.
This is a perfect modern-day twist to the great story with all the important characters from the original Pride and Prejudice. I loved when I recognized a character and the part they play in this new version. Chloe is a red headed spicy girl who portrayed a modern Elizabeth; she is a very enjoyable character. Taylor Darcy Anderson is a dreamboat who grows on you. 
My favorite part is the costume party Chloe throws for Halloween; I totally want to steal that idea. 
This is a fun read and I couldn't put the book down. I read the whole book in one day. I’m excited for the other books in “The Jane Austen Diaries” and see how Jane Austen’s stories adapt to our teenagers lives today. 

How to buy this book:

Coming soon author interview with Jenni James and book review of Northanger Alibi!! 

Persuaded is the next book in the series available soon. I CANT WAIT!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Romeo and Juliet tale in the Civil War times

Book review Beloved Enemy by Al Lacy

Jenny Jordan is from Virginia but moved to Washington for her father’s job. After his success in the Mexican war President Lincoln put him in charge of the Senate Military Committee. As the Civil war breaks out the Jordan’s find it difficult being proud southerners and living in the north. President Lincoln is impressed with Jenny, not only because she is beautiful but smart and he offers her a job as a receptionist at the White House.
When the Union troops were attacked by an angry mob on a train heading to Washington, all the wounded soldiers were taken to the Capitol. Jenny volunteered to help and when Corporal “Buck” Brownell carried one of the wounded into the rotunda, Jenny quickly came to assist. When Buck looked at Jenny their eyes locked together. Buck Brownell was a tough solider but at that moment he couldn’t remember his own name. He was captivated by her beauty. Jenny smiled sweetly and turned away to concentrate on her work. Buck asked her out and they instantly hit it off. Jenny’s father was against her getting involved with someone from the North. “Right now isn’t the time to fall in love,” her father warned. Jenny couldn’t help it; Buck was different than anyone she’d ever known. Colonel Jordan was in the perfect spot to become a Confederate spy and he needed Jenny to help. Jenny is terrified as the punishment of being caught as a spy is death by the firing squad. When Jenny is asked to bring classified information to the Southern camp she is torn between doing what her dad wants and following her heart. 

Al Lacy did a lot of great research. It was a history lesson along with a wonderful love story. Beloved Enemy was a thought provoking read as I learned about a war that separated our nation. You’ll have to read this Romeo and Juliet tale to find out if it’s a tragic ending or a happily ever after.

Al Lacy is an evangelist and author of more than one hundred historical and Western novels, including the Journeys of the Stranger, Angel of Mercy, and Mail Order Bride series, with more than three million books in print.

You can purchase this book at:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review