Put a Spell on Me: 10 Fabulous #Books Featuring Witches! #FridayReads #amreading


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Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up. Halloween is eighteen days away and I feel magick in the air. Oh wait, that’s just my Kindle overflowing with  paranormal romance, urban fantasy and magical realism books begging to be read. From the time I first saw the television show, Bewitched, I’ve loved stories that feature witches. So here are ten of my favorite magical books featuring witches:

 

Conjuring Quantico (The Federal Witch Book 1) by T S Paul

How do you cope with magic that goes its own way?

 

As a second year FBI academy witch, Agatha Blackmore has a curtain reputation. After nearly blowing up the school, an untended mid-air incident involving the FBI Director, and declaring war with the US Marines, she has to wonder if she will even see graduation.

 

But when a rash of mysterious disappearances catches the attention of local authorities Agatha finds herself asked to lend a hand to the investigation. Determined to offer protection where it is needed the most, Agatha and her quirky roommate Cat along with her mini- unicorn familiar Fergus, attempt to unravel the mysteries of the four distinctly magical disappearances before time runs out.

 

Does Agatha have what it takes to be an agent? Or will everyone that crosses her end up eating chicken feed for the rest of their lives?

 

Conjuring Quantico is the first book in a brand new Urban Fantasy by T. S. Paul.

As a direct sequel to Born a Witch… Drafted by the FBI, T. S. Paul returns with the first book of the Federal Witch Series!

 

Spellbound: A magical sequel to Bewitched by Daisy Prescott

If you don’t carve a pumpkin, it will appear ripe and perfect for months while it slowly rots from the inside out before imploding. The act of transforming a simple, ordinary gourd into something magical accelerates its downfall.

 

The same could be said for my life.

 

For twenty-one years I’ve lived quietly in the shadows, avoiding attention, and escaping notice.

 

I hide in plain sight.

 

With glasses and average brown eyes below the same dark hair sported by the majority of humans on the planet, there’s nothing extraordinary about me.

 

Except nothing about me is ordinary.

 

Not with the last name Wildes in Salem, Massachusetts.

 

My mother believed she could escape my fate by marrying a normal man.

 

My father thought he could change me by removing me from Salem and my mother’s history.

 

Both of them are wrong.

 

My fate has been sealed since the first time I laid eyes on Madison Bradbury.

 

She thinks she’s average, but she’s extraordinary to me.

 

A new love. A curse. Everything can go wrong.

 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

 

The author of the highly acclaimed, award-winning novel The Witch’s Boy has written an epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to be a modern classic.

 

Witch’s Bell Book One by Odette. C. Bell

Can this witch survive in a world of magic, possibilities, danger, and love?

 

Ebony Bell owns a cantankerous magical bookstore with a personality like a battering ram. Her best friend is a detective who drives like a bat out of hell. And a tall, dark, handsome, but seriously irritating stranger by the name of Nathan Wall has just walked into her life.

 

Oh, and she’s a witch. A consultant witch, to be precise. She spends her mornings selling books and her evenings investigating magical crimes for the local police department.

 

While her life is messy, she manages, until one investigation ends in a costly mistake. She reveals her powers to a normal human, and in punishment is severed from her magic for one lunar cycle. If that was her only problem, she would cope, but very soon darkness surrounds her.

 

Something is after Ebony Bell. A curse. She must fight it, or die. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she has to rely on the help, and kisses, of that darn Nathan Wall.

 

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How to Date Dead Guys (The Witch’s Handbook Book 1) by Ann M. Noser

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

 

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one.

 

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand… at first.

 

More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

 

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

 

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Sarah Addison Allen’s First Frost and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

 

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

 

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

 

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

 

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.

 

Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

 

The Cupcake Witch (The Chancellor Fairy Tales Book 2) by Poppy Lawless

They say the course of true love never runs smooth.

That’s nothing a magical cupcake can’t solve.

 

Julie

 

Buttercream. Vanilla. Fondant. Dark chocolate. Brown sugar. Molasses. Baking has always been my true love, but it wasn’t until my mother’s death, and the unexpected inheritance of Serendipity Gardens, that my bliss called me. Bittersweet. But Serendipity Gardens has more to offer than just a potential shopfront. An unusual recipe box left to me by a distant relative might be the key to unlocking my dreams.

 

Too bad the most powerful family in Chancellor has plans that could turn those dreams to ruins—literally.

 

Too bad the son of that powerful family is just the kind of guy I’ve been looking for.

 

Horatio

I suppose being heir to the Hunter family’s Blushing Grape Winery should make me happy, but nothing could be further from the truth. With my mother gone, my father has taken me under his wing, and I despise everything about the way he does business. Sour grapes, indeed. Instead of raising money for charitable causes, my true passion, I’m chasing my father’s manifest destiny.

 

Too bad his dream includes paving paradise.

 

Too bad the property owner is the sweetest woman I’ve ever met.

 

The Cupcake Witch is a stand-alone sweet romance and book 2 of The Chancellor Fairy Tales series.

 

Broommates: Two Witches are Better Than One! (Kentucky Witches Book 2) by Rebecca Patrick-Howard

Kudzu Valley was just starting to adjust to having one witch…what’s it going to do with TWO?

 

When Bryar Rose, Liza Jane’s feisty sister, has a breakdown in front of millions of people on live TV, she decides she needs a break from the glamorous life. Moving in with her sister to the small mountain town in Eastern Kentucky will hopefully give her some time to meditate, reflect on the past, and drown her embarrassment in copious amounts of bourbon.

 

Life in the ‘Kudz isn’t as uneventful as she’d hoped, though.

 

As the sisters struggle to coordinate the deep-fried food vendors and knock-off designer purse booths for the annual Mushroom Festival, they soon find themselves at the center of an investigation–half the town has been poisoned and Bryar Rose is the accused!

 

Of course, that’s not stopping the townspeople from continuing to come to Liza for everything from love spells to money charms (everyone needs a bigger tax refund).

 

Can Liza Jane Higginbotham clear her sister, put on a fabulous festival, and take care of everyone before the sisters are chased out of town with pitchforks?

 

A Little Night Magic by Angie Fox

New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox is back with an enchanting collection of six sweet, quirky, laugh-out-loud tales of paranormal mischief. Enter a world of magic with the ever-popular and always rowdy biker witches; take off on a spine tingling adventure with a Southern good girl turned reluctant ghost hunter; and sizzle in the sultry heat of New Orleans as a voodoo mambo makes one very big mistake when casting a love spell. These charming tales of love, friendship, and laughter are a pure delight.

 

Features six short stories (also available individually on Kindle):

A Ghostly Gift

Ghost of a Chance

Gentlemen Prefer Voodoo

I Brake for Biker Witches

Date with a Demon Slayer

Some Like It Hexed

 

“Fabulously fun”

—The Chicago Tribune

 

“Angie Fox has a genuine gift for creating dangerously hilarious drama.”

—RT Book Reviews

 

“A funny paranormal romp with a little heat and lots of action.”

—Fresh Fiction

 

Cursed (The Thorne Trilogy Book 1) by R.K. Ryals

The Thorne Trilogy Book 1

 

He is cocky, evil, and dangerous with one motto: sometimes being bad is better …

 

Ellie Elizabeth Jacobs, often known as Monroe due to her fascination with vintage attire and old movies, is an 18 year-old witch and a darned good one! But there is also something very wrong with her. Demonic energy makes her powers stronger, she has the ability to ward off Demons, and Lucifer wants her.

 

The hybrid Demon son of the cursed Cain and the Demon Lilith, Luther “Thorne” Craig is reluctantly sent to New Orleans, Louisiana by his brother, the hybrid Demon ruler of the Outer Levels of Hell, to protect Monroe from Lucifer’s searching Hellhounds.

 

But what happens when things go wrong?

 

In this riveting spin off from R.K. Ryals’ Redemption series, Monroe is faced with an old grimoire, an ancient curse, a magnetic Demon, and a journey to discover a family secret that may surprise them all.

 

What witch books do you love? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

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The Du Lac Princess by Award-Winning Author @MaryAnneYarde #bookreview #FridayReads #Arthurian


The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Title: The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 Of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming…

 

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

 

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

 

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

 

My Review:

War is coming and nothing can stop the man orchestrating everyone and everything to exterminate the du Lacs from the face of Earth. But the Keeper of the Blade has just emerged and he is flesh and blood, not just a myth. He will need the help of the du Lac brothers, that is if they don’t kill him first.

 

Amandine is rescued from certain death by Alan and kept alive. She is forced into captivity while Alan is away and tortured by monks all in the name of the Roman Church. “The Devil must be purged from her body and soul.” Alan returns (along with King Philippe and Mordred) who delivers swift punishment for Amandine’s mistreatment. King Philippe makes her his ward and she is safe, for now. For surely, her death will come, as all who are du Lacs.

 

Merton aka Galahad, believing his beloved Amandine is dead, vows revenge. Even though he is a crippled, one-armed man, he won’t rest until her killer is dead. He runs away from Brother Sampson and heads back to his brother, Alden. Along the way, he gets lost and an old Celtic woman finds him. She restores him back to health and teaches him many things, things Merton never knew about his father (Lancelot), Arthur and even Guinevere (yes, Arthur’s Guinevere).

 

Alden is at his wits end trying to run his kingdom, look after Merton, determine who is his enemy and who is his ally all while trying to keep war from crossing his borders. When he sends out a search party to find Merton, shock and remorse shake Alden to the core when they return. The Keeper of the Blade seeks his council and assistance as does a woman all of Briton thought long dead. Will the du Lac brothers unite under the same banner or will they kill each other with Mordred watching from the shadows?

 

I’ve been waiting months to read this book and when it finally came out, my expectations were high. The Du Lac Princess has a lot going on, between twice as many characters as in previous books and the multiple storylines, and I found myself re-reading passages to keep everything straight. I found it a little jarring to go from one storyline to the next, especially in the middle of a scene. This pulled me out of the story on several occasions, which I don’t believe was the author’s intention.

 

The dramatic tension was well done, though. While I didn’t care for the compounding obstacles Merton had to continually face, it all tied together by the end of the book. The dramatic tension between Alden and his brothers, especially leading up to the climatic conclusion, was spot-on. Lessons learned, betrayals revealed, grace and love unite to combat evil deeds all make this a must-read. Yarde breathes life into Arthurian legends and makes history come alive.

 

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, especially 6th century Briton, this is a must-read! Fans of Game of Thrones and The Vikings will love this book and will want to read the whole series.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Amandine. What a brave woman she is. She’s lost the one man she’s ever truly loved and King Philippe is the man responsible. She’s tortured in the name of God by the Church and yet still maintains her dignity. She’s a du Lac, after all.

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36307275-the-du-lac-princess

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

 

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

#99cents Alert: Saving Grace by @Aubreywynne51 #FridayReads #supernatural #books


Saving-Grace-Generic

 

Title  Saving Grace

Author  Aubrey Wynne

Genre  Romantic Suspense

Publisher  Plato Publishing

 

Book Blurb

The ghost of the Pungo Witch meets a shattered heart.

 

Chloe Hicks’ life consisted of an egocentric ex-husband, a pile of bills, and an equine business in foreclosure until a fire destroys the stable and her beloved ranch horse. What little hope she has left is smashed after the marshal suspects arson. She escapes the accusing eyes of her hometown, but not the memories and melancholy.

 

Jackson Hahn, Virginia Beach’s local historian, has his eyes on the mysterious new woman in town. When she enters his office, he is struck by her haunting beauty and the raw pain in her eyes. Her descriptions of the odd events happening in her bungalow pique his curiosity.

 

The sexy historian distracts Chloe with the legend of a woman wrongly accused of witchcraft. She is drawn to the story and the similarities of events that plagued their lives. Perhaps the past can help heal the present. But danger lurks in the shadows…

 

The legend of the Witch of Pungo is based on a historical figure.

 

Excerpt

“Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.” 

 

Late February 2006


Four Seasons Ranch Shawneetown, Southern Illinois

 

Martha Graham 

 

Chloe bolted up, willing the fog in her head to dissipate. The bed sheets were twisted around her ankles. Sweat trickled down her back. The terror froze her limbs while she struggled to calm her thudding heart and listen for the sound all horse owners dread. But it was the smell that made her realize this was not a terrible dream.

 

Smoke.

 

Instinct took over and she scrambled from the four-poster, making a beeline for the back door and the barn. Her toe smacked against the corner of a wall as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Oh god, not my babies. Not Bunny. Panic weighed down her legs as her bare feet hit the gravel. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. She tried to run down the long driveway, her eyes riveted to the red-orange flames shooting up into the black sky. Paul, her trainer, emerged from the darkness, his signature white hat on his head, his face colored yellow from the fiery glow. He signaled for her to take the front of the building as he disappeared around the back.

 

The frigid night air slapped her awake, but a horrifying screech from a panicked horse kicked in her adrenaline. Chloe reached the big, sliding doors and tugged them open. Heat smacked her face, and the smoke assaulted her lungs. Coughing, tears running down her cheeks, she slid back the bolts and opened the stall doors. On the other side, Paul’s voice faintly reached her over the crackle that filled her ears.

 

“Hiya! Move it, move it.”

 

The fire had consumed the other half of the barn where the arena was located. Above her was the loft, filled with winter hay and the last of her savings, now adding fuel to the already intense blaze. She pushed the thought from her mind as the flames shot through the center of the alleyway and the arena caved in.

 

Grabbing one of the lead ropes that hung at each door, she smacked the first horse on the rump and sent him flying out of the barn. The first three horses on each side followed their stable mates into safety with little persuasion. But Duchess, her mother’s old mare, wouldn’t budge. Chloe threw the lead rope over her neck and forced a calm tone. “Easy, girl. That’s my girl. Walk on, now. Walk on.”

 

The old horse snorted and pranced but followed her out of the stall. When they neared the opening, she withdrew the rope and whacked Duchess’ hindquarters. With a leap, the horse disappeared into the gray haze. The acrid odor of scorched hair and burnt wood filled her nostrils. Embers popped. She felt her cheek blister and wiped at it with her shoulder, while leading two more horses out by hand. She could hear BW’s shrill bark and knew he was herding the animals into a paddock as she sent them out.

 

Crack! 

 

Above her, a beam gave way and formed a fiery V. The horses must have sensed it also because they lunged ahead, snapping Chloe’s shoulders forward. She struggled to maintain her balance but fell to the matted floor, her knees striking the hard rubber. A boom behind her sent a spray of sparks, and pain shot along her backside. From the corner of her eye, she saw a strand of her hair spark. She beat at her neck frantically, putting it out with her bare hand. The heat was sweltering now. Images wavered in the flames that licked at the dry timbers of the remaining stalls and the heavy beams above.

 

Scrambling to her feet, Chloe ran outside into the frigid night and stumbled down the drive to help Paul. As she reached the other side of the barn, she doubled over as a coughing spasm racked her body. Hands on her knees, gasping to pull air into her tight chest, she heard him yelling over the crackle and whinnies.

 

“Bunny won’t leave the stall, and won’t let me near her foal.”
“What about Jack?”
“He’s good. C’mon, the roof is gonna give.” His hand tightened around her arm and pulled with such force her feet almost left the ground. Plunging back into the smoking hell, they entered Bunny’s stall and found the foal in the corner.

 

“Paul, I’ll get the foal then Bunny will follow.”

 

Another loud snap from above. She grabbed the lead rope dangling from the horse’s halter and handed it to the trainer. Running a palm down her mare’s neck, she spoke soothingly, “Atta girl, Bunny. There’s my girl. Let’s get your baby out of here.” The mare’s ears perked at her voice and words. Chloe tossed a rope around the foal’s neck and pulled. The baby gave in to the pressure and followed Chloe out.

 

Behind her, a loud, splintering crash was followed by a shrill squeal. Her stomach twisted as she turned to see Paul pulling on the lead rope. A fiery beam pinned Bunny as she thrashed, her legs flying in the air. One hoof caught the man in the head, and he crumpled to the ground.

 

Fighting for air, her chest a tight ball of agony, Chloe stumbled back in and grabbed Paul under his arms. BW appeared at her side. Together, they dragged him out of danger. With the last of her strength, she shuffled backwards until her feet tripped on something solid. She fell, his body tangled in her legs as they both landed with a thud.

 

A sob ripped at her raw throat at the sound of a muffled shriek. Tears spilled down her burning cheeks as she shook the lifeless body on top of her. BW licked at his master’s face. Chloe collapsed, her hand still on Paul’s chest, finding hope in the slight rise and fall of his shallow breathing. In the back of her brain, the sound of sirens wailed faintly. Above her, a shadow loomed. Mike? How did he get here so fast? And then her world went black.

 

 

Buy Links

99 cents, for a limited time!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTFI1FP

 

Aubrey Wynne

 

Author Biography

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas.

Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, first in A Chicago Christmas series, received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, and Heart of Excellence awards.

Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served in the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” begins with Rolf’s Quest, 2016 NTRWA Great Expectations winner.

 

 

Social Media Links

http://www.aubreywynne.com

https://www.twitter.com/aubreywynne51

https://www.facebook.com/magnificentvalor

https://www.instagram.com/Aubreywynne51

 

 

Friday Book Round-Up Shares 7 #Healing/ #Grief #Books to Heal Us All! #FridayReads #health


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Everywhere you look, there’s violence in the streets, people warring with each other and ideologies spewing hatred while terrorizing us all. After the past week, my heart hurts and my spirit is in need of an uplift. I went searching online for inspirational/healing books on Amazon. I know we’re all hurting, none more than those who lost loved ones, and we need healing. Here’s seven books I recommend and have helped me in my time of need:

 

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert  (Author), Chuck DeKlyen  (Author), Taylor Bills (Illustrator)

If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time. Grand’s Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations. Better than a casserole!

 

Hardbound; 56 full-color pages. Affirms the bereaved. Educates the un-bereaved. A building-block for children….. WINNER! of the 2001 Theologos Book Award, presented by the Association of Theological Booksellers.

 

Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma by Susan Farber Straus  (Author), Susan Farber Strauss (Author), Maria Bogade  (Illustrator)

Healing Days is a book designed to be used in therapy for young children and functions as an excellent resource for those who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, or other trauma. Readers will follow four children as they learn ways to cope with their own trauma. Sensitive, empowering, and beautifully illustrated, the book models therapeutic coping responses and provides children with tools they may use to deal with their own trauma. A Dear Reader introduction is included for the child reader. Also available is an online Note to Parents and Caregivers.

 

Healing from Trauma: A Survivor’s Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life by Jasmin Lee Cori  (Author), Robert Scaer (Foreword)

While there are many different approaches to healing trauma, few offer a wide range of perspectives and options. With innovative insight into trauma-related difficulties, Jasmin Lee Cori helps you: Understand trauma and its devastating impacts Identify symptoms of trauma (dissociation, numbing, etc.) and common mental health problems that stem from trauma Manage traumatic reactions and memories Create a more balanced life that supports your recovery Choose appropriate interventions (therapies, self-help groups, medications and alternatives) Recognize how far you’ve come in your healing and what you need to keep growing Complete with exercises, healing stories, points to remember, and resources, this is a perfect companion for anyone seeking to reclaim their life from the devastating impacts of trauma.

 

The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity for Joy by Susyn Reeve  (Author), Katherine Woodward Thomas (Preface)

Imagine being connected to an infinite source of loving energy. Imagine finally being whole, happy and content. Imagine experiencing life as a source of limitless creative possibility. With Susyn Reeve and Joan Breiner’s new guide to upgrading the software of your mind, you can have an inspired life with unlimited joy. Through definitions, quotes, life stories, exercises, and meditations you create your own inspired life vision, and nourish it day-by-day with proven Inspired Life Actions. This book is directed to those of us who need a push to open our minds and hearts to the vast creative potential and possibility alive in each moment. Are you ready to live an inspired life rooted in the sacred union of your heart and intellect and reflected in your thoughts, words, and actions? It all begins with making a choice, with saying: “Yes, I choose an inspired life.”

 

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel  (Author), Pamela D Blair  (Author)

Now there is a hand to hold…

Each year about eight million Americans suffer the death of someone close to them. Now for thse who face the challenges of sudden death, there is a hand to hold, written by two women who have experienced sudden loss. This updated edition of the best-selling bereavement classic will touch, comfort, uplift and console. Authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. explore sudden death and offers a comforting hand to hold for those who are grieving the sudden death of a loved one.

Featured on ABC World News, Fox and Friends and many other shows, this book acts as a touchstone of sanity through difficult times. I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye covers such difficult topics as the first few weeks, suicide, death of a child, children and grief, funerals and rituals, physical effects, homicide and depression. New material covers the unique circumstances of loss, men and women’s grieving styles, religion and faith, myths and misunderstandings, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye reflects the shifting face of grief.

These pages have offered solace to over eighty thousand people, ranging from seniors to teenagers and from the newly bereaved to those who lost a loved one years ago. Individuals engulfed by the immediate aftermath will find a special chapter covering the first few weeks.

Tapping their personal histories and drawing on numerous interviews, authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D, explore unexpected death and its role in the cycle of life. I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

PRAISE FOR I WASN’T READY TO SAY GOODBYE

“I highly recommend this book, not only to the bereaved, but to friends and counselors as well.”
Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Grieving Child, The Mourning Handbook, and The Grieving Teen

“This book, by women who have done their homework on grief… can hold a hand and comfort a soul through grief ‘s wilderness. Oustanding references of where to see other help.”
George C. Kandle, Pastoral Psychologist

“Finally, you have found a friend who can not only explain what has just occurred, but can take you by the hand and lead you to a place of healing and personal growth. Whether you are dealing with the loss of a family member, a close personal associate or a friend, this guide can help you survive and cope, but even more importantly… heal.”
The Rebecca Review

“For those dealing with the loss of a loved one, or for those who want to help someone who is, this is a highly recommended read.”
Midwest Book Review

 

On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross  (Author), David Kessler  (Author)

Shortly before her death in 2004, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, her collaborator, completed the manuscript for this, her final book. On Grief and Grieving is a fitting completion to her work. Thirty-six years and sixteen books ago, Kübler-Ross’s groundbreaking On Death and Dying changed the way we talk about the end of life. Now On Grief and Grieving will profoundly influence the way we experience the process of grief.
On Death and Dying began as a theoretical book, an interdisciplinary study of our fear of death and our inevitable acceptance of it. It introduced the world to the now-famous five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On Grief and Grieving applies these stages to the process of grieving and weaves together theory, inspiration, and practical advice, all based on Kübler-Ross’s and Kessler’s professional and personal experiences, and is filled with brief, topic-driven stories. It includes sections on sadness, hauntings, dreams, coping, children, healing, isolation, and even the subject of sex during grief.
“I know death is close,” Kübler-Ross says at the end of the book, “but not quite yet. I lie here like so many people over the years, in a bed surrounded by flowers and looking out a big window….I now know that the purpose of my life is more than these stages….It is not just about the life lost but also the life lived.”
In one of their final writing sessions, Kübler-Ross told Kessler, “The last nine years have taught me patience, and the weaker and more bed-bound I become, the more I’m learning about receiving love.”
On Grief and Grieving is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s final legacy, one that brings her life’s work profoundly full circle.

 

It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine  (Author), Mark Nepo (Foreword)

Challenging conventional wisdom on grief, a pioneering therapist offers a new resource for those experiencing loss

When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. “Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.”

So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible?

In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides—as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner—Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it. In this compelling and heartful book, you’ll learn:

• Why well-meaning advice, therapy, and spiritual wisdom so often end up making it harder for people in grief
• How challenging the myths of grief—doing away with stages, timetables, and unrealistic ideals about how grief should unfold—allows us to accept grief as a mystery to be honored instead of a problem to solve
• Practical guidance for managing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety without trying to “fix” your pain
• How to help the people you love—with essays to teach us the best skills, checklists, and suggestions for supporting and comforting others through the grieving process

Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to “solve” grief. Megan writes, “Grief no more needs a solution than love needs a solution.” Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, she offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face—in our personal lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the wider world.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those seeking to love themselves—and each other—better.

 

 

 

Have an inspirational/healing book to share? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

 

Not Your Usual Fairy Tale Romance… Disenchanted by Susan Carroll is #99cents! #Romance


Disenchanted 99 cents

 

Title  Disenchanted

Author  Susan Carroll

Genre  Romantic Fantasy

Publisher Random House

 

Book Blurb   

An alluring love triangle and a daring caper unfold in this imaginative retelling of Cinderella, featuring an indomitable damsel who’s not so easily swept off her glass slippers.

 

At the tender age of seventeen, Ella Upton lost her innocence to a traveling minstrel, a youth with flaxen hair and a golden voice whose deep blue eyes concealed his true intentions—until it was too late. Seven years later, Ella’s stepsisters chatter about winning the affections of the dreamy Prince Florian at the royal ball, but Ella has no such illusions. Instead, her dashing best friend, Malcolm Hawkridge, persuades her with his reckless charm and wicked smile to use the occasion to steal back a magic orb from the corrupt king. But before the clock strikes midnight, Ella finds herself pursued by more than one prince—not to mention Commander Horatio Crushington, who captures her with his piercing gaze from across the crowded ballroom. Dancing through the sudden swirl of suitors, Ella feels her cheeks burning—and not solely because of the orb hidden in her gown. Has the strapping Horatio awakened long-dormant desires or is Ella finally coming to grips with her feelings for Malcolm? Only the girl who thought she’d given up on love can decide.

 

 

Excerpt  

Once upon a time. . .  That is how a good story should begin or so I have been told.  These tales always seem to involve a poor, but sweet young maiden who attends a royal ball, falls in love with a charming prince and lives happily ever.

 

This is not my story.  While I am certainly poor enough, no one would ever describe me as sweet and our kingdom’s prince is far from charming.  When I did get a chance to go the ball, my mind was more set on burglary than falling in love and…But I am getting ahead of myself.

 

My story actually starts on what promised to be another ordinary day until someone came hammering at my front door with enough force to snap the ancient brass lion knocker in half.  At that moment, I was kneeling in front of the library hearth, ramming a long-handled broom up the chimney while soot sifted down over my face and hands, speckling the apron I wore over my old grey woolen gown.   Only the kerchief knotted about my head prevented my hair from becoming a shade of ash blonde.  I was in no fit state to receive callers.

 

When the insistent rapping continued, I shouted out, “Can someone please answer the front door?”

 

I knew both of my stepsisters were near at hand, entertaining one of their vapid beaux in the parlor.  But when Amy and Netta were anywhere in the vicinity of an eligible young man, they tended to become so pixified, it affected their hearing.  There was no response to my plea other than the sound of muffled giggling.

 

I struggled to my feet, trying to wipe my hands clean on my apron, but it was only making matters worse.  I stomped from the library, aware that I was leaving a trail of soot all along the main hall that I would be obliged to clean up later.  Just add that to the many other tasks facing me this afternoon.  The thought did nothing to improve my mood.

 

I flung open the door, stopping the caller in mid-rap.  “What?” I demanded.

 

The round florid-faced little man on the doorstep drew back in dismay at the sight of me.  He was clad in all the accoutrements of a royal herald, a blue toque with a jaunty feather perched on top of his auburn curls. I was no more pleased to see him than he was me.  If I had known the caller was a messenger from the palace, he could have rapped away until the knocker disintegrated.  I would have never opened the door.

 

Recovering from his initial dismay, the herald puffed out his cheeks and raised his trumpet to his lips.

 

“Aw, don’t do that!”  I grabbed the trumpet and wrenched it away from him, stopping him in mid-toot.

 

He gasped in outrage, bouncing on his toes as he tried to retrieve the trumpet, but I held it easily out of his reach.

 

“Miss!   I must sound the trumpet.  It is protocol.”

 

“You were supposed to have blown the horn before you ever knocked.”

 

He sank back on his heels, looking disgruntled.  “I was warned that people are unlikely to answer their doors if I sound the trumpet first.   Especially at this house, Miss Upton.”

 

Despite my layers of soot, the man knew who I was.  Obviously he had been warned.

 

“What happened to George, the herald who used to work this street?” I asked.

 

“He retired.”

 

“Surely he is a little young for that.”

 

“The poor man’s nerves were a wreck.  He’s gone off to join the Loyal Order of Hermits in the Red Grove Forest.   He simply couldn’t endure any more of the abuse heaped upon him, all the insults and threats, being set upon by dogs or angry cats.”  The herald directed a pointed glare at me.  “Or having pails of dirty water flung on his head.”

 

“I was washing the second story windows and the bucket slipped from my hand,” I protested.  “It was an accident.”

 

Well, almost.   It was George’s own fault for provoking me.  When I refused to come down from the ladder to take his message, he had shouted the tidings up at me, that the palace had declared a new (and exorbitant) tax on windows.   Dumping the wash water on his head had been a purely involuntary response.   Still, if I had contributed in any way to poor George becoming a hermit, I did feel a twinge of remorse.

 

“So what is your name?” I asked.

 

The new herald bowed with a great flourish, his soft round stomach doubling over his belt.  “Rhufawn Smythe, at your service, miss.”

 

Rhufawn?”  I chuckled.

 

He straightened, scowling at me.   “I am sure it is no more amusing than being called Prunella.”

 

Although I utterly loathed my first name, I said, “Prunella is an old family name among the Uptons.”

 

“So is Rhufawn among the Smythes.”  He sniffed.  “You know, I think it very unfair that we royal heralds should constantly be subjected to such mockery and abuse.  It is not our fault that the news coming from the palace is not always pleasant.   We are simply doing our duty and—”

 

“All right!”  I cut him off with an upraised gesture to call a truce.   “So do your duty.”

 

“But no trumpet,” I warned as I returned the instrument to him.

 

He pouted, but he attached the horn back to the loop on his belt.   Rhufawn delved into the large leather pouch which I could see was crammed with rolled parchments.  He produced one and prepared to unfurl it.

 

“Just give it here.” I grabbed for the parchment but the new herald was prepared this time.  His pudgy fingers clamped down, refusing to release it.

 

“I am supposed to read it to you.”

 

“I have been reading since I was three.”

 

“It is protocol, miss.   I have to make sure you have heard and understood the proclamation.   And you will want to hear, because I assure you it is good tidings.”

 

Good tidings from the palace?  That was as unlikely as the fabled cow being able to jump over the moon.

 

Reviews

“One of the best fairy-tale retellings of Cinderella I’ve read . . . vivid and rich, lush and three-dimensional . . . I was in love from the first page, and I can’t wait to read more!”—The Romance Reviews (top pick)

“Once the author wrapped me into the characters, I was a goner. You couldn’t pay me to put the book down.”—The Jeep Diva

 

 

Buy Links

99 cents at all retailers for a limited time!

 

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2tpmIFT

 

iTunes – http://apple.co/2rA2XtC

 

B&N – http://bit.ly/2sSZyKn

 

BAM – http://bit.ly/2sTaaJn

 

Google Play – http://bit.ly/2sMK5LF

 

Kobo – http://bit.ly/2sxhCY0

 

Susan Carroll

 

Author Biography

Author Susan Carroll began her career in 1986, writing historical romance and regencies, two of which were honored by Romance Writers of America with the RITA award. She has written twenty six novels to date. Her St. Leger series received much acclaim. The Bride Finder was honored with a RITA for Best Paranormal Romance in 1999 and also received the Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times magazine for Historical Romance of the year. Two sequels followed, The Night Drifter and Midnight Bride.

Ms. Carroll launched a new series with the publication of The Dark Queen set during the turbulent days of the French Renaissance. A blend of history, romance and intrigue, these six books relate the saga of the Cheney sisters, three women of extraordinary abilities who live in constant peril of being accused of witchcraft. The novels combine fictional characters with real events and personages such as the enigmatic Catherine de Medici , the lusty Henry of Navarre and the dynamic Elizabeth I of England.

 

Her latest book, Disenchanted is a humorous retelling of the Cinderella story.   The sequel, Charmless will be released in May 2018.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.susancarroll.net/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Carroll-178676395553946/

 

 

 

It’s #BannedBooksWeek and Mrs. N Shares Her Top 10 Banned #Books! #FridayReads #YA #fiction


Banned Books Week

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This week, the book/reading community has been celebrating and promoting Banned Books Week. What is it? It’s simply a week to recognize and spotlight those books that are deemed to be inappropriate to read. According to the American Library Association, hundreds of books are removed or challenged from schools and libraries. It’s censorship at its worst and I won’t stand for it anymore. Every person, no matter the age, has the right to read. I’ve had the pleasure to read several banned books and it honestly opened my eyes to the world and to life experiences I will never have to go through. Here are my top ten banned/challenged books and why I believe they’re must-reads:

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Fifty years ago, Madeleine L’Engle introduced the world to A Wrinkle in Time and the wonderful and unforgettable characters Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe.

 

When the children learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil―a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.

 

A Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time is an iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world. This special edition has been redesigned and includes an introduction by Katherine Paterson, an afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis that includes photographs and memorabilia, the author’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech, and other bonus materials.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is soon to be a movie from Disney, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling.

 

This title has Common Core connections.

 

Why I love it: This was one of the first fantasy books I read and while there is a “dark entity”, there’s nothing scary or offensive in this book. It’s the whole good versus evil battle to save the world and it’s still one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. The fact that Disney is releasing a movie in 2018 should plainly state that it’s just fine for kids to read and enjoy.

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

 

The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often-scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.

 

Perennially popular with readers, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN has also been the continued object of study by literary critics since its publication. It was criticized upon release because of its coarse language and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes and because of its frequent use of the racial slur “nigger”, despite strong arguments that the protagonist and the tenor of the book are anti-racist. (more at wisehouse-classics.com)

 

Why I love it: Huck Finn is one of the greatest historical portrayals of 19th century South society I’ve ever read. While millions will point to the language and say it must be pulled off of library shelves and out of school curriculum, I disagree. I first read Huck Finn in the 5th grade and it opened my eyes to what life was like during those times. Yes, the racist language shouldn’t be repeated or said ever again but it is a great history lesson. Twain wrote about life he witnessed and what happens in the book really happened, to a certain extent. Middle grade children and up will find value in reading this and so will many adults. You can’t sweep history under the rug unless you want to repeat it.

 

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

 

Why I love it: I first read this when I was eleven. It was a great novel of the Depression, displaying some people’s reactions and the dark side of human nature. The friendship of the two men is the main theme and it is moving. Again, another history tool to show children what life was really like during the 1930’s. I found myself sympathizing with others after reading this book.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as an e-book.

 

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

 

Why I love it: One of the greatest books ever written, To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of a young girl, her father, a black man wrongly accused of a horrific crime and the racism prevalent in a small town. I can’t stress this enough: THIS IS A MUST-READ! If you want to understand how evil racism is and how prejudice is a disease that needs to be squashed, read this book. It is told from the viewpoint of an innocent young girl so it is age-appropriate. There is so much honesty and truth in this novel, it’ll change your perception on today’s society.

 

A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein

From New York Times bestselling author Shel Silverstein, the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, comes an imaginative book of poems and drawings—a favorite of Shel Silverstein fans young and old. This special edition contains 12 never-before-published poems.

 

A Light in the Attic delights with remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems in a collection readers will return to again and again.

 

Here in the attic you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

 

Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home.

 

Why I love it: Really? This is a banned book? Somewhere, Mr. Silverstein is shaking his head sadly. It’s a hilarious book of illustrations and poems. Silly poems. Its message is clear: use your imagination, laugh often and your life will be good. It promotes kindness, goodness and understanding. There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Since it was first published in 1954, William Golding’s classic debut novel has remained a stark allegory of civilization, survival, and human nature. As dystopian stories like Hunger Games and Battle Royale surge in popularity, this haunting tale of a group of young boys stranded on a desert island still captivates schoolchildren around the world, raising timeless and profound questions about how easily society can slip into chaos and savagery when rules and order have been abandoned.

 

When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality- and brutal savagery-of their situation sets in.

 

A teacher himself, Golding clearly understood how to interest children with a gripping story and strong, sympathetic characters. The novel serves as a catalyst for thought-provoking discussion and analysis of universal issues, not only concerning the capabilities of humans for good and evil and the fragility of moral inhibition, but beyond.

 

The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Symbolism is strong throughout, revealing both the boys’ capacity for empathy and hope, as well as illuminating the darkest corners of the human spirit. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be.

 

Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.

 

Why I love it: I get why people/parents challenge this book. There’s a whole lot of evil and death that takes place but you have to look at the underlying message: everyone is capable of evil deeds; it all depends on your morality and societal constructs. Survival, community, power and responsibility all play out in this dystopian gem. Children find value in this and maybe if more people read this book, there would be less crime, gangs and criminals.

 

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney

In the vein of psychological thrillers like We Were Liars, Girl on the Train, and Beware That Girl, bestselling author Caroline Cooney’s JANIE series delivers on every level. Mystery and suspense blend seamlessly with issues of family, friendship and love to offer an emotionally evocative thrill ride of a read.

 

When 15-year-old Janie Johnson sees her own face in the missing children box on a milk carton, her world begins to blur. Was she kidnapped when she was a baby? Who are her parents? And who are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson? Janie’s search for the answers will lead her back 12 years into memories of another house, another family, another life. Her questions threaten to destroy the love she feels for her parents and the security they have given her. But it is a search she cannot ignore.

 

The Face on the Milk Carton has been extremely popular ever since it was first released. An IRS-CBC Children’s Choice Book, it also has been made into a frequently-aired television special.

 

Why I love it: I was shocked to see that one of my favorite books from the 1990’s is a banned book. I guess with the subject matter, people don’t want kids reading this. Listen, I don’t want eight-year-olds reading this either. It’s geared for teens and sheds light on a very real subject matter: child abduction. Back in the late 1980’s, there was a lot of child kidnappings going on. So much so, the government came up with putting missing children’s pictures on milk cartons as a way to catch the kidnappers and bring the children home. This story is based on a real kidnapping. Filled with emotions and capturing what happens to the kids who got abducted, this is a great book. Again, this is shedding light on something American parents had to deal with and important for teens to read about.

 

Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

Discover the original bone-chilling adventures that made Goosebumps one of the bestselling children’s book series of all time! Something scary is happening in GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND, the all-new, all-terrifying series by R. L. Stine. Just how scary? You’ll never know unless you crack open this classic prequel! Discover the fan-favorite thriller and chiller that first introduced the world to the wooden face of fear. The puppet who pulls all the strings. None other than Slappy the Dummy! Now with all-new bonus material revealing Slappy’s secrets and more.

 

Why I love it: Oh man, I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I saw this paranormal/horror series was banned/challenged. It’s a bunch of scary stories, like what kids hear around the campfire at summer camp. It’s mostly funny, sometimes scary, horror stories that kids love.

 

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

 

Why I love it: I know most parents shudder when you bring up this book but honestly, this is a must-read for all high-school kids. I read it when I was sixteen and I was a lonely, depressed girl. I was bullied at school and found solace and companionship with Holden. I mean, he talked about the same things I was feeling at the time. Not that I wanted to commit suicide but that life was complicated and I wanted to escape. Holden taught me it was okay to not be happy all the time. He also brought out the poet in me, which I will always be thankful. See, teens just want to know that what they’re feeling is okay, even if it is dark. The point is to not act on the feelings to the point of suicide. I will always be indebted to Salinger for crafting such a complex character.

 

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet …The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting – but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places. ‘Spare, beautiful and brutal prose …The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing’ The Times ‘Moving and compelling …It will put an imperceptible but stealthily insistent hold on you. I sat down in the morning to read the first couple of pages; five hours later, I was still there, book in hand, transfixed’ Maggie O’Farrell, Sunday Telegraph

 

Why I love it: I read this when it came out and I was blown away. Told from the viewpoint of a murdered little girl, she witnesses all facets of her loved ones’ lives. The themes range from grief to forgiveness, from revenge to justice, from coming out of the darkness into the light. A moving book and one that needs to stay on bookshelves, no matter if the subject matter is hard to read.

 

For more information on banned/challenged books click here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

 

What’s your favorite banned book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Angels: Who Are They Anyway? A Guest Post by @LNightingale #angels #FridayReads #giveaway


Wings

In my research for Gylded Wings, I discovered a book simply called Angels written by Malcolm Godwin. This book is a wealth of information about the subject, presented in an interesting and witty writing style. Even the character and seals of some of the more famous angels are given, and he goes into detail about questions you didn’t know you had, for instance, the identity of the Watchers or Shining Ones.

Who the hell are they? Choirboys of the Ninth House, aka the Grigori mentioned in the Book of Enoch (another interesting find!), they were angels sent to Earth to teach Man. Unfortunately, they were a little too zealous in the performance of their jobs and taught the use and design of weapons.  There is one mention of them in the Bible, King James Version, in Genesis 6:2: That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Have you ever wondered where your guardian angel stands in the heavenly scheme of things? Well, Mr. Godwin can tell you!

According to the Hebrews, the universe is a hierarchy. The Christians adopted this model of the Cosmos in which God is both at the center of the Cosmos and the highest point of the hierarchy. Entities radiate outward from His Presence, some being close to the center while others move further and further away from the Divine Source of Light and Love.

Let’s look at the Nine Choirs of angels:

Highest Triad

  1. Seraphim
  2. Cherubim
  3. Thrones

 

Middle Triad

  1. Dominations
  2. Virtues
  3. Powers

 

Lowest Triad

  1. Principalities
  2. Archangels
  3. Angels

 

Guardian angels would be of the Lowest Triad, therefore, further from the center of the Cosmos and closer to Man himself.

In Gylded Wings, Gyldan opens the story as an angel. When Brit rescues from his own dimension and takes him to Earth, amazing powers manifest. This as well as his appearance lead the angels on Earth, called Guardians, to believe he is of a much higher Order.

Guardians are of the Tenth Order, created after Armageddon to protect Man from the Fallen Angels who’d tried to seize Heaven in the Second War in Heaven.

This is the angel mythos I used in Gylded Wings. There are a lot of angel books, and each author has his/her own take on the lore.

There are three books I recommend to anyone interested in angelic lore or in writing an angel book:  Angels by Malcolm Godwin; Dictionary of Angels; and the thrilling Book of Enoch (an early John Grisham-type novel that is part of the Apocrypha not the Bible) in which the Prophet Enoch goes to a heavenly court to defend the Grigori.

Thanks for having me as your guest today. I’m giving away a free pair of angel earrings (US only) plus an e-book (International). To enter, click here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

GyldedWings_w10451_750

 

 

Gylded Wings is available in print and eBook format at Amazon:  http://a.co/eIE0R9n and on the publisher’s website, The Wild Rose Press:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5285-gylded-wings-paperback.html

 

Blurb

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

 

Excerpt

The sound I’d anticipated snapped me to attention, a slow, uneven click of high heels halting me in the shadows.

“There you are,” I whispered.

A lone woman staggered into my path. The doomed creature reeked of sex and whiskey.  Whoring and boozing weren’t reasons for a fiery execution, but I saw into her black soul.  Two years ago, she’d tossed her illegitimate child into a garbage dumpster and walked away from the screaming infant without a backward glance.

She’d make an excellent demon.

I stepped free of the darkness.  My hapless quarry glanced up and stumbled to a breathless halt, watching me.  Fearing me.  I laughed at her doe-in-the-headlights expression, lifted my hands, and loosed the power.  Lightning shot from my fingertips.  The white bolts struck, engulfing her.  She twitched and flopped on her feet for a split second.  In a fall of gray snow, she disintegrated.  Humans and angels die differently.  Daniel had perished in a shower of sparks and trail of colored smoke.  Ashes to ashes, the woman had returned to dust.

“See you in Hell.”  I saluted the powder drifting away on an ocean breeze.

Whistling The Devil Went Down To Georgia, I hooked my thumbs in my pockets and continued my journey of self-discovery.  Tonight, I’d already had sex in a bathroom with a married woman, hurt a sweet girl’s feelings, and French-fried a woman.  What else could a devil do on a Friday night?

A Lion’s Heart (Shadow Shifters Book 7) by @ACArthur #PNR #shifter #romance #FridayReads


ALionsHeart

 

Title: A Lion’s Heart (Shadow Shifters Book 7)

Author: AC Arthur

Genre: Paranormal Shifter Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Shadow Shifter Assembly Leader Roman Reynolds and his mate Kalina, have had a vicious fight on their hands for the last twenty years. The war between the humans and the shifters has grown lethal and to make matters worse, their now grown daughter, Nisa is on the battlefield.

 

The Rebel

 

Nisa Reynolds is a soldier. Despite her love and respect for her parents’ position in this fight, Nisa is determined to do things her way. If only she can convince the devilishly sexy white lion shifter traveling with her that her plan is the best option for the shifters survival…if only she were strong enough to fight the passion brewing between them.

 

The Lion

 

Decan Canter’s tribe had long since learned to co-exist with the other feline shifter tribes as they all lived in Oasis and believed in saving their race by any means necessary. Having a direct order come to him from the Assembly Leader to escort his daughter across the country, wasn’t something he’d expected, yet he respected the order and had tried his best to obey. But Nisa Reynolds was unlike any other shifter Decan had ever met, and even if it meant dying at the hands of the reputed Roman Reynolds, he had to taste her…only, having her once, was never going to be enough.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the 7th book in the Shadow Shifters series. This book is a standalone novel that takes place 20 years after the last story. However, if you would like to read the previous books in this series, they are as follows:

 

Temptation Rising

Seduction’s Shift

Passion’s Prey

Shifter’s Claim

Hunger’s Mate

Primal Heat

 

Excerpt:

Nisa stared directly at him as she extended an arm and patted the pillow beside her.

“Leading requires a clear head. Rest works wonders for a busy mind. My Uncle Baxter used to say that to me when I was a little,” she told him.


“I’m not a child,” Decan replied.


That admission hadn’t been necessary. Nisa knew he wasn’t a child. He was a full grown shifter. One whom she was undoubtedly attracted to. She wondered if that were the reason she’d invited him to sleep beside her. No, it wasn’t. She believed in keeping her enemies, and those she hadn’t quite yet decided whether or not to trust, close.


“And yet, the rest theory, would probably still work,” she quipped. “Come on. I’ll stay on my side of the bed. I promise I don’t bite.”


That brought a chuckle from him. The sound was quick and momentarily startled her. It wasn’t until she felt the bed give beneath his weight as he sat on the other side and leaned over to remove his boots that she realized it was because she liked it.


Following her advice it only took him a few seconds, of which he used to pull his shirt over his head and lay back on the bed beside her. Nisa was surprised by how close he was. Maybe this bed was smaller than she’d thought. She attempted to roll over again, but immediately felt his arm going around her waist to pull her back against him.


When her back was spooned against his front and she was once again biting her lip at the new development, she felt the sharp nick against her neck.


“I’m not making any promises about not biting,” he whispered as his tongue licked over the spot where his lion’s teeth had scraped along her skin.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lions-Heart-Paranormal-Shapeshifter-Shifters-ebook/dp/B074DRXF5B

 

Author Biography:

A.C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn’t stopped since.

 

Working in the legal field she’s seen lots of horrific things and longs for the safe haven reading a romance novel brings. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters and fresh dialogue–thus keeping the readers on their toes!

 

In the young adult arena, A.C. also writes under the name Artist Arthur. Visit her Amazon Author Page for details about available YA books. https://amazon.com/author/artistarthurbooks  

 

Social Media Links:

A.C. Arthur’s Book Lounge on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/AC-Arthurs-Book-Lounge

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AcArthur

Website: http://www.acarthur.net

Newsletter Sign Up: http://www.acarthur.net/contact/

 

Meet Stoet (Storyteller and Poet) Frida R. and her Latest Release #books #FridayReads


Frida R Author Photo

 

Many of you might not know that MRS N loves reading urban fiction/prose/poetry. I happened across Frida on social media and we just clicked. Maybe it’s because we’ve been through our share of heartbreak and suffering, maybe it’s because our natural writing style is poetic prose, who knows what it was but we connected. I asked her to sit down with me for an interview and she agreed. Her answers intrigued me and her excerpt gripped me. Please take a moment and check her out. Let’s get started…

 

What is your writing process?

Oddly enough, I’ve never even thought about this before, but I guess I do have a writing process. I always have my journal with me, so I can jot things down no matter where I am. But when I really want to get into writing, I have a bottle of wine, with the lights in my bedroom dimmed, while playing music that draws emotion out of me. My go-to’s are Mary J. Blige, Adele, Toni Braxton, and Kelly Clarkson. This is usually always a nighttime thing. The moon gives me energy.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m already working on my second book. “Blossom’s Wine Bar” was just a little taste of what’s to come. I wanted to use it as an introduction to my voice and writing style, which is why I kept it short. The next book will be at least double the length.

 

I’m also working on a lifestyle website where I will talk mostly about dating and relationships. It will be somewhat of a follow-up to the articles I wrote for the Huffington Post on the same topics.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read my reviews. I respond to the positive ones where there is a real human connection to my writing, like someone saying I helped them through a tough time or something like that. I typically just laugh at the negative ones. I can’t allow myself to be bothered by someone who either has a different perception or just missed my point entirely.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Yes, I drink either whiskey or wine pretty often and I smoke weed here and there. My vices change based on what I have going on. When I want to avoid and cover up my stress, I love the combination of a man who doesn’t ask too many questions and alcohol. When I want to think freely to clear my head, I paint.

 

What is your biggest fear?

I don’t trust or associate with many people. The people I confide in have been in my life for years, they’ve seen me grow up. My biggest fear isn’t of my own death, it’s theirs, especially my best friend, we’re soulmates. I’m not sure who I would be without that support system.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was a shy and quiet child. My mother sometimes worried that I didn’t have enough friends. I always liked to write. I don’t remember a point in my life where I didn’t have a diary where I wrote all my secrets, even in elementary school.

 

I was also a tomboy. I wanted to be tough like my older brother, so we fought alot and he taught me how to play baseball. My Barbie’s were my favorite toys. I really enjoyed changing their hairstyles. I’ve always liked experimenting with hair which got me into trouble because I’d always change my own after my mother styled it.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be a lion. I’m a Leo and I’ve always felt connected to them. I love the way the females are beautiful and graceful, yet vicious. I’m a lot like that and I feel my best when my hair is big and crazy like a male lion’s mane.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

If you wanna stand out, write from your heart because no matter how much someone else may try to copy you, no one can duplicate your inner truth. Also, don’t bother to pick up a pen if writing isn’t the reason you breathe. This isn’t something you half-ass. Writing is a calling, not a hobby. Stick with it, hone your craft, and develop an ego that’s rejection proof.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Recognizing and trusting my intuition. I have so much more clarity now that I’ve let go and decided to follow my instincts. I’m fearless, I take risks, and I learn from my failures. This has impacted every aspect of my life from my relationships, to my health, and career.

 

Blossoms Wine Bar Cover Art

 

Title

Blossom’s Wine Bar

 

Author

Frida R.

 

Genre

Poetry/Short Stories

 

Publisher

BlackGirlMagic Publishing

 

Book Blurb

In the memoir-like chapbook, “Blossom’s Wine Bar” Frida R. snatches her audience’s hearts and drags them down the unpaved roads of her messy, ever-changing alcohol soaked world. With fair amounts of wit and grit, “Blossom’s Wine Bar” is a collection of stoems (poems that read like short stories) and personal essays where she pulls readers deeper into her world by revealing the events that pushed her to create such raw art. Genuine, vulnerable and sometimes crass, Frida R. opens up about abortion, relationships, depression, and suicide. With so many things that have gone wrong, she shares the life lessons and moments of self-awareness that allow her to continuously progress because as she says, “If you aren’t going to continue to grow and change, you’re just a waste of food and resources.” “Blossom’s Wine Bar” reads like conversations between friends because Frida R. is an author who thrives from the idea of connecting with her audience. She wishes to be a voice to the voiceless and a source of motivation for the underdog, making her the stoet (storyteller & poet) to look out for.

 

Excerpt

Untitled

 

At 3:23, I woke up sweating.

It’s finally happening.

He’s gonna get me.

 

I began to perform my nighttime routine at 9:53.

I confirmed no one was in the house with me,

checked the locks on the doors and windows,

then adjusted the heat.

 

I removed my makeup and after I brushed my teeth,

I said a prayer.

 

I asked for strength and protection, but not relief,

and I included a bit about my misplaced sanity.

I’m not sure if anyone hears this shit but me

cause I can’t remember the last time I slept peacefully.

 

I was tucked into my bed by 10:15,

finding little comfort in the knife beside me.

I trained myself to sleep with the hall light on

cause when it’s too dark, is when I feel I’m not alone.

 

It’s 3:33.

 

Ten minutes ago, the sound of my name

crept into my ear and woke me.

I know his voice, but not his face.

 

He’s been taking my life away, slowly.

 

As I sit up in bed hyperventilating,

I hear laughter.

 

Knowing my torture is his pleasure, I cry.

 

He keeps laughing at me.

 

I wish I could call someone,

but he made my friends believe I’m crazy

so, nobody comes around anymore.

 

The laughter I heard is replaced by chatter.

This is the first time I’ve heard more than just his voice.

 

I counted four or five men.

I can’t keep up with them,

nor can I make sense of what they say.

If they’re truly inside of me, how will I pull away?

 

I scream thinking they’ll pause.

Nah. They’re even more riled up

and it’s my fault.

 

Chatter, chatter.

Faster, faster.

Laughter, louder.

 

I scream again.

 

My body is soaking wet with sweat…

 

I’ve gotta go.

 

I jump from my bed and my feet land in a red puddle.

I look, but the wine from my nightstand hadn’t spilled.

While I stand there, the puddle grows,

and I know it’s blood flooding my room.

Then, I blink and everything is clean.

 

Again, they’re laughing at me.

 

I run.

 

The walls are closing in on me, I can see the doorway shrinking.

I know it sounds like I’m going insane, but this ain’t my imagination.

I turn the knob and pull with all my strength, but nothing happens.

That’s when he clears his throat and my brain goes silent. My body feels numb.

 

It’s 3:41.

 

I can hardly see through my tears

as I fall to the floor.

Warmth covers my body and

I don’t wanna fight no more.

He calls my name and I open my eyes

to see blood on my legs and feet.

I look above me and see it leaking from the ceiling.

I’m right beneath my bedroom.

I’m not even shocked.

 

It’s 4:00.

 

There’s a whisper with a message.

It’s an instruction, I’m being tested.

He promises more torment if I fail.

I need to be violent, but I’m frail.

 

I slowly follow his voice to the kitchen.

I empty the cabinet housing my prescriptions.

I pour a glass of wine, and

grab and handful of pills.

He said that after this, he’ll leave

and I’ll finally heal.

 

I get comfortable on the couch and

play a Lady Antebellum song.

I’ll just sing along ’til nothing hurts anymore.

 

There will be no dreams, or headaches,

unwarranted outbursts, and sweaty handshakes.

 

I will no longer feel lonely, frightened,

and unloved. No more paranoia, heartache,

or feeling misunderstood.

 

No more being called “crazy.”

 

I was found dead three days later at 4:24.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US –

https://www.amazon.com/Blossoms-Wine-Bar-Frida-R/dp/1549502700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504216006&sr=8-1&keywords=blossoms+wine+bar

 

Author Biography

When she isn’t writing, painting, or experimenting in her kitchen, Frida R. can be found pranking her far too trusting boyfriend and subsequently begging for forgiveness after she’s laughed herself to into a tear-filled ab workout.

 

By the time she’d graduated the fifth grade, Frida knew she would grow up to become a writer after having authored several short stories, songs, and stacks of unsent hate mail to her older brother for picking on her and messing with her toys.

 

Four years of writing for small blogs and a local women’s magazine led Frida to climb a freelance writer’s Mt. Everest by getting herself published by The Huffington Post just a few months after they’d rejected her first submission.

 

Today, female empowerment drives Frida’s work. Recklessly raw and unfiltered, she speaks on her struggles with love, depression, suicidal thoughts, and learning to fight for herself. In her debut novel, “Blossom’s Wine Bar”, Her agenda is clear: Frida R. fights dirty and hates living in a world where hardworking women are told they aren’t good enough, victims remain victims, and mental health is overlooked.

 

Although, she writes about the darkness we all get trapped in, Frida R. includes not false hope and fluff, but proof of a light that shines at the end of the tunnel.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook www.facebook.com/fridarosebud

 

In Honor of @StephenKing’s 70th Birthday, Here’s Our Top Five! #books #FridayReads #horror


Stephen King

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. So yesterday (9/21/17), the king of horror, Stephen King, turned 70. The very first book I ever read by him was Christine. I think I was ten. It scared the crap out of me and I’m still afraid of cars to this day. Lol! In honor of Stephen King’s birthday, both MR N and I came up with our top five all-time favorite Stephen King stories. We’d love to hear your favorites, too, so be sure to share in the comments below.

 

#1 – Salem’s Lot

Stephen King’s second novel, the classic vampire bestseller ’SALEM’S LOT, tells the story of evil in small-town America. For the first time in a major trade edition, this terrifying novel is accompanied by previously unpublished material from King’s archive, two short stories, and eerie photographs that bring King’s fictional darkness and evil to vivid life.

When Stephen King’s classic thriller SALEM’S LOT hit the stands in 1975, it thrilled and terrified millions of readers with tales of demonic evil in small-town America. Now, thirty years later and still scaring readers witless, ’SALEM’S LOT re-emerges in a brilliant new edition, complete with photographs, fifty pages of deleted and alternate scenes, and two short stories related to the events of the novel.

While the original edition of ’SALEM’S LOT will forever be a premier horror classic, ’SALEM’S LOT: ILLUSTRATED EDITION, with the inclusion of material from King’s archive, is destined to become a classic in its own right and a must-have for all Stephen King fans. In this edition, the hair-raising story of Jerusalem’s Lot, a small town in Maine whose inhabitants succumb to the evil allure of a new resident, is told as the author envisioned it, complete with fifty pages of alternate and deleted scenes. With a new introduction by the author, two short stories related to the events and residents of Jerusalem’s Lot, the lavishly creepy photographs of Jerry Uelsmann, and a stunning new page design, this edition brings the story to life in words and pictures as never before.

No library will be complete without this ideal collector’s item for any King aficionado, the definitive illustrated edition of the great ’SALEM’S LOT.

 

Why we love it: Both of us agree that this book is a classic, filled with eerie characters, suspenseful plot and plenty of twists and turns. Read the book before you watch the movie. Perfect reading leading up to Halloween.

 

#2 – Different Seasons

A “hypnotic” (The New York Times Book Review) collection of four novellas from Stephen King bound together by the changing of seasons, each taking on the theme of a journey with strikingly different tones and characters.

“The wondrous readability of his work, as well as the instant sense of communication with his characters, are what make Stephen King the consummate storyteller that he is,” hailed the Houston Chronicle about Different Seasons.

This gripping collection begins with “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” in which an unjustly imprisoned convict seeks a strange and startling revenge—the basis for the Best Picture Academy Award-nominee The Shawshank Redemption. Next is “Apt Pupil,” the inspiration for the film of the same name about top high school student Todd Bowden and his obsession with the dark and deadly past of an older man in town. In “The Body,” four rambunctious young boys plunge through the façade of a small town and come face-to-face with life, death, and intimations of their own mortality. This novella became the movie Stand By Me. Finally, a disgraced woman is determined to triumph over death in “The Breathing Method.”

 

Why we love it: One of our all-time favorite movies (and two of MRS N’s) came from this collection of short stories, The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me. Four stories, each named for one of the four seasons, that showcase ordinary people dealing with life, death, revenge and survival. Brilliant and highly recommend!

 

#3 – Pet Sematary

Don’t miss the classic tale from King of Horror and #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, described by Publishers Weekly as “the most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written.”

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.

But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.

 

Why we love it: Cats and horror go hand-in-hand and in this creepy story, Stephen King’s imagination takes us to an all too familiar story about grieving the loss of a beloved pet. Be careful what you ask for, especially in the woods.

 

#4 – Cycle of the Werewolf

The first scream came from the snowbound railwayman who felt the fangs ripping at his throat. The next month there was a scream of ecstatic agony from the woman attacked in her snug bedroom.

Now scenes of unbelieving horror come each time the full moon shines on the isolated Maine town of Tarker Mills. No one knows who will be attacked next. But one thing is sure.
When the moon grows fat, a paralyzing fear sweeps through Tarker Mills. For snarls that sound like human words can be heard whining through the wind. And all around are the footprints of a monster whose hunger cannot be sated… Cycle of the Werewolf.

 

Why we love it: This is the book that inspired the movie, Silver Bullet. It’s King’s take on werewolves and what happens to the townfolk of Tarker Mills during the full moon. Soon, everyone is a suspect and you’ll never guess who it is. Now, according to what I could find online, it’s out of print but I bet your local library has it. Read the book before watching the movie (a must-watch every Halloween in our house).

 

#5 – The Green Mile

The #1 New York Times bestselling dramatic serial novel and inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Tom Hanks, the “literary event” (Entertainment Weekly) of The Green Mile is now available in its entirety.

When The Green Mile first appeared, serialized as one volume per month, Stephen King’s The Green Mile was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times bestseller list—simultaneously—and delighted millions of fans the world over.

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with “Old Sparky,” Cold Mountain’s electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he’s never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs…and yours.

Why we love it: This is one of the most inspiring yet horrifying stories ever written. King blends paranormal with suspense and shines a light on racism, humanity’s propensity for evil and a miracle. Sheer brilliance! Again, read the book before watching the movie starring Tom Hanks.

 

What’s your favorite Stephen King book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Friday Book Round-Up Salutes #MilitaryRomance! #books #romance #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. There’s something about a man in uniform that makes me swoon. Whether it’s Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, these brave men sacrifice all to serve their country and community. They also deserve love and romance. Here’s my top eight favorite military romances of all time. See if your favorite is on the list.

 

Ridge: Contemporary Romance, Military (Men of Honor Book 1) by Livia Quinn (Author)

He’s “the one” and everyone knows it but him… but will his mission come at too great a cost?

 

Buffy Calloway was famous on the runways of Paris as Lana Maisel, but now she’s looking for one special man to be the face of her franchise. At a writers conference, she discovers Tucker, a late arrival with just the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that will make her agency a success.

 

Ridge Romano billionaire CEO, Medbionics expert, former Army Ranger is in D.C. to meet with Congress about his crucial Veterans bill, which will revolutionize care for vets and their families. So, how did he wind up on stage between two cover models with a hundred women shouting, “Tucker, take it off”? That’s the question his family and friends would be asking tomorrow. That, and “Who’s Tucker?” Hopefully, he would be able to slip away without any repercussions.

 

The Calloways have always known what they want, and Buffy knows Ridge is ‘the one’ for her. There’s just one problem–Ridge scoffs at the notion of himself as a cover model, and Buffy can’t argue with his noble cause. She’ll have to enlist the entire romance community to make her plan work. But could this be the first time a Calloway was wrong?

 

The Rebel’s Redemption: Wounded Hearts- Book 2 by Jacquie Biggar  (Author)

Is it too late for second chances?

If you like Military Romance, Wounded Warrior Romance, Contemporary Romance, or Romantic Suspense, this is a sure to be a story you will love from USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar.

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth. Eight years in the military has turned him into a cynical, disillusioned man.
Then he returns home to find out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew?

Or is it be too late for them to have a second chance?

 

Viable Threat by Julie Rowe  (Author)

Special Forces soldier and medic Walter River would give anything to snatch more than a few seconds of down time to see if he can rattle the no-nonsense and incredibly hot Dr. Lloyd he’s protecting, but dodging explosions, snipers, and student radicals who’ve unleashed a lethal bio-engineered microorganism have made that almost impossible. Maybe he’ll get a chance—if he can figure out how to keep them both alive.

 

CDC microbiologist Ava Lloyd races to find a cure for a bio-terrorism organism sweeping El Paso. The few stolen moments with her very hunky bodyguard River have been explosive, but no matter how alluring he is, she can’t afford to get distracted. The clock is ticking, people are dying by the hundreds, and once this crisis is solved, they’ll both be off on their next assignment, thousands of miles apart.

 

Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Will his call of duty break both their hearts?

 

Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

 

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

 

When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?

 

Redemption River: Men of Mercy, Book 1 by Lindsay Cross

Hunter James didn’t want or need redemption.

 

Until one mission turns his world upside down.

 

He left Mercy to fight for his country and escape a broken heart. Years later, he is hard. Cold. A man without mercy. Part of an elite Task Force, he tracks a brutal terrorist to his home town. And runs into the woman who betrayed him…

 

Evangeline Videl was destroyed when Hunter left. Determined to move on, she finds another man, but discovers too late the monster hidden beneath his smooth smile. Struggling to find the conviction to live, Evie finds her life spinning out of control.

 

Then Hunter returns…

 

Forced to band together to find the terrorist before its too late, Hunter and Evie must learn to forgive or risk losing the promise of redemption and their lives…

 

This is a stand-alone love story. It is book 1 in the Men of Mercy series.

 

Navy SEAL Six Pack (SEAL of My Own) by Elle James  (Author)

For a SEAL undercover on a top conspiracy, attraction could be dangerous… 

Raised on a ranch and trained as a Navy SEAL, Benjamin “Montana” Raines has a work ethic that’s unshakable—even in the midst of a beautiful and jaded CIA operative. A dangerous conspiracy threatens the United States, and Benjamin has a new case. And a new partner.

Kate McKenzie has been burned before. And now she is paired with someone she’s supposed to trust against her deeper instincts. In the cutthroat world of millionaires and politicians in Washington, DC, Kate and Benjamin must go undercover to prevent an attack. But as the risks to their safety heighten, so does their undeniable attraction to one another…

 

Turbulent Waters (Billionaire Aviators Book 3) by Melody Anne  (Author)

A daring pilot finds himself in danger of losing his heart.

 

Coast Guard pilot Nick Armstrong savors the taste of danger. But after his helicopter crashes into the ocean during a mission, shattering his knee, he encounters a whole different type of thrill when he meets his new physical therapist. Maybe being grounded isn’t so bad after all.

 

Smart, sexy, and deeply guarded, Chloe Reynolds is the type of woman who drives Nick crazy for all the right reasons. But as she tries to help him heal, Chloe struggles to keep her heart—and secrets—safe.

 

For years, she has been told that Nick is responsible for her brother’s death, a “fact” that she slowly learns may not contain the entire truth.

 

But can Chloe’s growing feelings for Nick, and their undeniable chemistry, really overcome a years-long family feud? Or will the past ultimately destroy the future they both desperately want?

 

An Unexpected Match: A Sweet Military Romance by Tangela Ellis  (Author)

Timing is everything…
Ambitious Layla has a particular goal—a dream she’s determined to make come true. But when tragedy strikes, her plans are temporarily derailed, and she finds herself stuck on a military base, surrounded by aggressive, flirty men with no interest in commitment.
She must ignore the advances of handsome sailors while she figures out how to get back on track, but Navy Officer Colton Finnegan is used to getting what he wants, and he has his eyes set on the determined brown-eyed beauty!

Can Layla keep her eyes on the prize?

 

What’s your favorite military romance book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

The Fountain of Youth by @Steveshearbooks Spotlight + #MidwestBookReview #FridayReads


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Title: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

A love affair, a teenager in deadly trouble, a possible Nazi in hiding, and a battle to escape dementia—make for high drama and unpredictable twists at the Fountain!

 

Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

 

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of many other residents including his neurotic sister Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; Beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist, he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism resulting from a horrific incident in childhood; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him; and a runaway girl who reminds Glickman of someone in his past.

 

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson, and the runaway girl?

 

Midwest Book Review:

Review of The Fountain of Youth by Steve Shear

for the October 2017 issue of Midwest Book Review

by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

 

It’s rare that romance novels include more than surface passions, and even less common that they embrace issues of dementia, moral and ethical questions, medical conundrums, or the struggles of Alzheimer’s patients. Mix all these issues with love and you have a strange blend, indeed.

 

But one of the special features of The Fountain of Youth lies in its ability to deftly weave all these seemingly-disparate threads into a unified, precise, memorable story line, making it a top recommendation for not just romance readers, but anyone interested in issues of aging, changed capabilities, and the impact a small thing (such as quiz book) can have in one’s life.

 

In this case, narrator Robert Glickman is determined to defy a family history of dementia and his seemingly-inevitable decline by using a quiz book to test his facilities so he can do something about any decline before it really takes hold. In the meantime, he also lives life in Youth Fountain Senior Living Facility (termed “The Fountain of Youth” by its residents – an aptly named old folks’ home, where he has an apartment), holds an infatuation with a retired therapist, faces a neurotic and mentally declining sister, confronts a possible hiding Nazi, and interacts with a host of characters who each struggle with their own uncertain lives.

 

The characters who inhabit The Fountain of Youth are somewhat reminiscent to those in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, minus much of the insanity. They are quirky, obstinate, sometimes defiant personalities who have their own perspectives of their pasts, presents and futures; yet are somewhat to fully cognizant of the fact that the Fountain offers anything but youth or longevity – only a relatively safe haven at the end of the long road of life.

 

As events and lives unfold, the unexpected happens: Robert’s gruff, observational voice becomes a compelling chronicler of the process of facing not only imminent mortality, but the decline of one’s connections to life itself. What opens as and seems like an observational piece about an increasingly limited world and abilities becomes a special window into the hearts, minds, and ethical issues facing the aging and those around them at the end of life.

 

Who has power and control over one’s life? What happens when circumstance limits, then takes away, not only abilities, but personalities? The psychological depth belays any possible description of The Fountain of Youth as a romance novel. While many a reader may pick up the story for this element, most will be delightfully surprised at the depth offered by the evolving story, the quirky and fun personalities revealed behind the closed doors of an elderly facility, and especially the story’s important message about the right to live – and die – on one’s own terms.

 

What begins as a seeming romance or institutional probe becomes something much more: a compelling, engrossing story fueled by the passions, perspectives, and worries of Robert as he seeks to take back power in his world, keep his promises, and exert control over his own destiny and the quandaries life and death poses. It’s very highly recommended for audiences seeking depth and insights from fictional stories.

 

 

Excerpt:

My quiz book, all three hundred pages, is older than my stay at the Fountain. It belonged to my grandson, Peter, my daughter Bonnie’s oldest. Peter and I spent many evenings in his room reading the questions and seeing who could come up with the answers first. Often I won. Sometime he did. I clearly had the advantage of age and education. Peter had the advantage of looking up the answers ahead of time so I guess we were even. When the decision was made for me to move to the Fountain, not unanimously I might add, Peter insisted I take the quiz book with me so we would have it when he visited. By the time I settled in he decided he was too old for the book. I often wonder whether that was so, or was it possibly because he couldn’t look up the answers ahead of time. Either way, whenever I open the book I think of Peter and smile. And then smile again because I know its real purpose.

 

By the time I retrieved it from the multicolored vase and returned to my apartment, I had totally forgotten about Pomerantz even though I had been asked by Ruth at the front desk to speak at his memorial service, and for her I would do anything. So, I spent several grueling days writing and memorizing the speech I planned to give. It was sitting on the kitchen table, although I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in. I normally don’t forget such things. Maybe I was just bothered by the fact that I mixed up the East and South Halls. Besides, he wasn’t my best friend. He was a Republican. He voted for George Bush twice. I’m sure Ruth thought we were best buddies because I joined his fight against the Vatican’s refusal to take Mrs. Pomerantz off life support. She took the trip to Hades on Lower Level 2 a year or so after she and Pomerantz arrived at the Fountain. Such a shame and such a surprise. She was a spry little woman with the intellect of a giant. First in bridge, always, and first in the weekly trivial pursuit night. I’m sure she didn’t study the answers ahead of time … but who knows.  From one day to the next she found herself on the River Styx without ever stopping at Lower Level One. Three months later she was on life support without a ‘valid’ living will, at least according to church officials at Christ-the-King Care Group. That brought Pomerantz and me together, at least for a while. There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.

 

When I first met him, Harry, he was racing down the hall past my front door in his supped up motorized wheelchair like James Dean and the hoodlums in Rebel without a Cause. As I stepped into the hall we practically collided head on. Fortunately I jumped back just in time, except for my big toe which throbs to this day.

 

“Christ!” he shouted, “Can’t you watch where you’re going?”

 

“Who in the hell are you,” I barked back, trying to fight off the pain in my lowest extremity by jumping up and down on my left foot like a fucking clown. “Dr. HMP MD?” I read aloud off the New York license plate wired to the back of his lethal weapon and laughed. “Well Dr. HMP Master Dick, or whatever MD stands for, just remember you’re sharing this road with the regular folks who don’t have vanity plates plastered all over their stock cars.”

 

That was a number of years ago and only the beginning of our bipolar affiliation. It went uphill and downhill from there.

 

About the time I took the puzzle book out from under my shirt, the phone rang. “Robert, where are you?” a voice at the other end hollered. I looked around.

 

“In my apartment,” I hollered back, recognizing Goldfarb’s soprano voice. He should have been a woman, I always thought, but he would have been an uglier old woman than old man. Imagine Karl Malden in The Streets of San Francisco with long hair and Tiny Tim’s voice.

 

“Well, we started without you but the Rabbi is now calling up all the speakers.”

 

“All the …” Oh, God! I looked at my speech on the table. “Okay. Don’t bury him without me.”

 

“What?” I heard him say as I hung up and grabbed my speech.

 

For a guy who thought he had lost his puzzle book and totally forgot about the memorial service, I did a pretty good job and only looked at my speech a couple of times. I told everyone how I collided with Harry that first day we met and became best friends even though he was a Republican. I lied about being best friends. Otherwise I would have had to explain why I was at the podium we borrowed from Rufus. And to be honest we were best friends during the time we fought to get Harriet off life support.

 

She wound up in the hospital with pneumonia which clearly wasn’t a good thing since she had already suffered from emphysema and had to drag an oxygen tank wherever she went. It was well past 10 o’clock one evening when I heard a knock at the door causing me to jump from my covers. I raced for the door and saw an eyeball through the peephole.

 

“Don’t slip on the newspaper,” I yelled.

 

He ignored my humor. “It’s Pomerantz. Can I talk to you Glickman?

 

I rushed for my robe and opened the door. By the time I tied it across my waist he had already made himself comfortable at the kitchen table. Surely he wasn’t there to argue about the election; was he? I made it clear his politics gave me indigestion and wanted no more to do with it than jalapeño cream cheese on a garlic bagel. At the time I didn’t know Harriet was in the hospital with pneumonia. Before learning why he was there, I offered to make us a cup of tea and he accepted.

 

“I’ve been told that you know how to make a living will?”

 

“Living will?”

 

“Brownsher next door said you were the expert.”

 

“You don’t have one?”

 

“No. But it’s not for me. It’s for my Harriet.” It figures, I thought. What do you expect from a Republican?

 

“Why all of a sudden?”

 

“She’s in the hospital with pneumonia.”

 

“Oh! I’m sorry,” I said, then reminded him I was not a lawyer but I did have some experience with living wills, although I didn’t mention why and he didn’t ask. I started for my computer and he jumped up to follow me. ….

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fountain-of-youth-steve-shear/1126084022?ean=2940157477806

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-fountain-of-youth-10

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Steve_Shear_The_Fountain_of_Youth?id=U2TODgAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=1100lLzi

 

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/the-fountain-of-youth-0

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097928-the-fountain-of-youth

 

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Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was Steve’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. He is happy to say that Adrian has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

Steve has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

 

 

Dr. D and the Dad by @CharJGordon is a Delightful Mature #Romance! #womensfiction


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Title Dr. D and the Dad

Author Charmaine Gordon

Genre Contemporary Romance, Mature Romance

Publisher Vanilla Heart Publishing

 

Book Blurb

A trip over a mound of sand on the beach begins a journey for Diane O’Rourke and Tony Flannigan. She’s a pediatrician, a bit over weight; he has a foster care home with three children under his sheltering wing… and a dark secret. Can they overcome the past and make the future work for them? They might just find the initial trip was well worth it.

 

Book 6 in the series, The Beginning… Not the End

 

Excerpt

When I’d ventured off my veranda onto the sand not too long ago and trudged toward the secluded area where boulders formed a natural barrier, the tide was out. I rolled my terry cloth cover-up into a makeshift pillow and lowered myself to the towel. Big sunglasses covered green eyes and part of full cheeks, a floppy straw hat shaded my strawberry blond curly hair, my best feature, Mom used to say when she wasn’t nagging me about going on a diet. After lathering with sunscreen, at last I was ready to ponder my non-existent personal life and chart a different course for the future. I’d planned to contemplate my navel but the double D cups got in the way, no navel in sight.

 
Why bother going out in the sun; spend money on yet another swim suit guaranteed to make you look slimmer when it all came down to choices like Chocolate or tofu?  Fifty five, chubby, smart enough to become a doctor, to have a paid-up house on the beach, a. . .

 
Pain as all the air whooshed out of me when something fell across my body and I couldn’t breathe. “Did I hurt you? cause I was running and something moved
and well I didn’t realize someone was under the sand.”

 
“Oh,” I moaned and tried to get up and the sand held me down and so did he.  I opened my eyes and through the sunglasses, saw Antonio Banderas, not really the actor but he sure looked like him.

 

 

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Dad-Beginning-Not-Book-ebook/dp/B00J6PNWB4

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dr-d-and-the-dad-charmaine-gordon/1118949666

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dr-d-and-the-dad

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/mt/book/dr-d-and-the-dad/id844585666?mt=11

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/421115

 

Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

 

Author Biography

Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End. “I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand– in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

 

You can reach Charmaine at http://authorCharmaineGordon.wordpress.com  And on her FB page http://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon And on Twitter https://twitter.com/CharJGordon

 

 

Friday Book Round-Up Congratulates #CaptainUnderpants on its 20th Anniversary! #books #kidlit


Captain Underpants

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Twenty years ago this month, Scholastic published the very first Captain Underpants book and the reading world was changed forever. I remember vividly when the Scholastic rep asked me to read and review it.  I raised an eyebrow at the name but gave it a try. It was hilarious and I’ve been a fan ever since. Yes, there’s potty humor but kids all over the world love Captain Underpants. Don’t take my word for it…

 

PRAISE FOR CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS:

“Pilkey’s sharp humor shines, and is as much fun for parents as their young readers.” PARENTS’ CHOICE FOUNDATION

“Combines empowerment and empathy with age-appropriate humor and action” – BOOKLIST

“For every downtrodden fun-seeking kid who never wanted to read a book.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“(One of the) 5 Books That All Children Should Read” – HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS

“Call Pilkey . . . the savior of the ‘reluctant reader.’ ” –USA TODAY

2012 PARENTS’ CHOICE AWARD WINNER

 

These are my top three favorites:

 

The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1)

George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school—and now they’ve accidentally brought him to life! Read the first book in this bestselling series about two creative kids and the zany misadventures that follow when Captain Underpants leaps off the page to save the day! Acclaimed author and Caldecott Honor artist Dav Pilkey takes readers on a wild ride in this outrageously funny, action-packed, easy-to-read chapter book. With illustrations on every page, it’s great for both beginning and chapter-book readers, and sure to turn even the most reluctant of readers into lifelong fans. This updated ebook edition now includes a bonus chapter in full-color that reveals the true origins of Captain Underpants!

 

Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People (Captain Underpants #8)

The eighth book in Dav Pilkey’s mega-bestselling Captain Underpants series. Now with super-cool foil covers! Shiny! Fun!

When we last saw George and Harold, they were about to take their pet pterodactyl Crackers back to the Cretaceous period. But things didn’t work out quite as they had hoped. They’ve entered an absurd alternate reality where teachers are nice, kids are allowed to read banned books, and the cafeteria food doesn’t smell like dirty diapers. Even worse, they’ve discovered alternate versions of themselves–Evil George and Evil Harold–who plan to unleash some preposterous plans on Piqua, Ohio. Now it’s up to George and Harold to defeat the evil twins and THEIR superhero, Captain Blunderpants!

 

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants (Captain Underpants #4)

The fourth book in Dav Pilkey’s mega-bestselling Captain Underpants series. Now with super-cool foil covers! Shiny! Fun!

George and Harold aren’t bad kids. They just like to “liven things up” for everybody. Unfortunately, their thoughtful jokes sometimes get them into a LOT of trouble. And when Professor Pippy P. Poopypants becomes their new science teacher…well, George and Harold almost cause the entire planet to be taken over by a maniacal, mad-scientist guy in a giant robot suit! Who will stop the perilous plot of Poopypants?!!? This looks like a job for Captain Underpants!

 

 

What’s your favorite Captain Underpants adventure? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier by @KryssieFortune #romance #militaryromance #FridayReads


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Title Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier

Author  Kryssie Fortune

Genre Contemporary, ex-military, spanking romance

Publisher Loose id

 

Book Blurb

Luke Roberts, a former army mechanic, has a new sub. She’s shy and inexperienced, but willing. As he teaches her about sensation play, she fears he’ll really hurt her and screams her safewords at him. Her reaction causes Luke to have a flashback. Although he’s clawing his way back to normal, he suffers from PTSD. Determined to get well, he contacts a PTSD specialist in Westhorpe Ridge.

Kathryn Johnson has visited a BDSM club three times. When she hooks up with Luke Roberts, he unintentionally terrifies her. She swears off spankings and goes home to Westhorpe Ridge. The last person she expects to see there is Luke Roberts.

Circumstances force them to share an apartment. Can Luke protect her when danger threatens? Or is she just a temporary sub in residence?

 

This is book four of my Heroes of Westhopre Ridge series. Like all the others, it’s a stand alone, HEA romance.

 

 4 former soldiers

 

Excerpt

Kathryn screamed as the car sped toward them. “Farlaise. Straight ahead. We’re sitting ducks.”

 

Luke gritted his teeth and opened the throttle. The dump truck sped up. Solid, but not superfast, it trundled along the road. A brick outhouse came to mind as he headed directly for Farlaise’s car. This was one game of chicken Luke meant to win. Even if he took a bullet, he’d hold his course and keep Kathryn safe. “So, junior leaguer, how’s your pitching?”

 

She tried for a smile, but it turned into a grimace. “I had one of the team’s lowest earned run averages.”

 

Luke kept the throttle open wide. The chugging of the engine grew louder, but he’d told her the dump truck had a top speed of less than thirty miles an hour. The wind made it feel faster.

 

He took a deep breath and yelled, “Hooah. Balls-to-the-wall time. Our dump truck will pulverize their front end. When you’re near enough, lob one of your Molotov things in their direction. Anything to keep them off-balance since I might as well have a target on my chest sitting up here.”

 

She barely heard him over the engine noise. Adrenaline shot through her. She shivered with a mix of exhilaration, panic, and determination. Protecting Luke mattered more than her safety. Her fear level rose right along with her blood pressure. She could hear her heart race, but she’d keep the driver distracted. No way would she let Farlaise and his henchman hurt Luke.

 

Kathryn didn’t think, just reacted. She lit a match and set one fabric wick burning. Sitting tall, she lobbed her homemade bomb toward the oncoming car. She didn’t expect to hit them, but the banked roadside between Farlaise’s car and the dump truck went up in flames. Farlaise swerved to avoid the fire, almost tossing the henchman out the window as he leaned out and leveled his gun at them.

 

Kathryn peered out the hopper. The henchman had his gun pointed directly at Luke. No way, buster. Careful not to spill fuel, she lit a second wick. Taking a deep breath, she pitched it down the road.

 

Unflinching, Luke held their steady path down the center of the road. He groaned when Kathryn’s throw landed short. The grenade rolled onto the center of the road and sent a sheet of flames upward. Farlaise swerved again. Determined to keep Luke safe, she pitched a third bomb and lit a fourth.

 

Farlaise saw it coming. He swerved right, going off the road and up the banking. The fourth Molotov cocktail hit his radiator. Flames shot around the hood. Farlaise lost control of the car. It rolled, tossing the henchman onto the verge and knocking him unconscious.

 

The car landed on its side. Luke kept chugging forward. “Get down, Kate. I don’t want Farlaise to crawl out of the wreck shooting.”

 

The upturned car blocked her view. She couldn’t see what happened behind it. As she watched, a gun barrel poked over the wreck. Lined up on Luke, it glinted in the afternoon sun.

 

Crack.

 

A single shot rang out. Kathryn screamed again. The gun barrel lowered. Slowly, it toppled from Farlaise’s hand. God, what if he hit Luke? She swiveled in her seat, praying he was unhurt. No blood stained his overalls. He wasn’t slumped in his seat. Farlaise hadn’t shot him.

 

Luke kept the dump truck chugging down the road. When they drove past the upturned vehicle, Farlaise lay in a pool of his own blood on the grass. A police car pulled up, and Jared stepped out the passenger side, rifle in hand. He strode over to Farlaise and picked up his gun before searching the unconscious crook for weapons. Finding none, he stepped back. Luke nodded toward Jared. “Great shot. I owe you one.”

 

Jared shrugged. “It’s what the army trained me for. It was an easy shot for a marine sniper.”

 

Relief made Kathryn’s muscles weak. Shoulders slumped, she peered over the dump truck’s hopper. “Hooah indeed. Luke, you’re either a hero or a lunatic. Maybe both.”

 

Jared touched two fingers to his forehead in salute. Striding over to the henchman, Jared frisked him for weapons. The sheriff went to help Kathryn out of the hopper, but Luke beat him to it.

 

Maybe he held her a little too long as he lowered her to the ground, but she didn’t care. Her heart demanded she cling to him and never let go. If only her brain wasn’t chanting pregnant girlfriend over and over, she’d have been so happy she burst. Rather than respond, she stiffened and stepped away from him.

 

Buy Links

Loose id

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Kobo

 

Kryssie Fortune

 

Author Biography

Kryssie is never seen without her kindle. She reads everything and anything she can get her hands on. When she discovered hot, sexy reads, she felt like she’d found her home. The only books she hates are the ones that end with a cliff hanger or have unhappy endings.

 

Kryssie tries to set her stories in places she’s explored. Hopefully, it adds color to her writing. Anything can spark a story idea. Sometimes she takes liberties though. The North Yorkshire town of Whitby is one of her favorite places. To keep the details of her imaginary town, Westhorpe Ridge consistent, she mentally shunted Whitby over the Atlantic and renamed it Westhorpe Ridge.

 

When not writing, Kryssie loves to walk on the beach of home town, Bridlington, or potter in her garden. Popping down to London to see her family is her favorite thing to do.

 

Kryssie currently has thirteen books on general release along with a boxed e-book of the first three Westhorpe Ridge stories. All her stories are M/ F or M/M/F. All are edited by publishing houses in either the UK or the USA. While her stories sizzle with sex, plot comes before bed. Life’s always an adventure going on in Kryssie’s world.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Website

 

Or you can email her direct on Kryssie.Fortune@aim.com

 

Schism (The Detective Mike Eiser Series Book 1) by @ClabePolk #BookReview! #suspense #FridayReads


Schism

 

Title: Schism (The Detective Mike Eiser Series Book 1)

Author: Clabe Polk

Genre: Detective Mystery, Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

Atlanta’s infamous Bowen Homes Projects is no place for children, especially two teenaged boys. If anyone knows, it’s Kat Thomas. The single mom has seen enough senseless death and broken dreams to last a lifetime, and she is seeking a different future in Poplar Bluffs.

But dark shadows fall on even the brightest futures.
“Mad Dog” Lincoln lives up to his name every day on the streets; never more so than the time he killed Kat’s fiancé to leave her broke, pregnant, and alone. Now, the Dog is demanding one of her sons as the newest recruit for his gang, the Raven’s Claws.

Kat is desperate to save her family from a life of crime, but a single mother is no match for a raging criminal like Mad Dog, whom even the police avoid. All but one, that is: Detective Mike Eiser. Determined to end Lincoln’s reign of terror once and for all, Eiser will soon discover that ruining Lincoln’s plans might just turn a mad dog rabid.

 

My Review:

This was a long read and but one that kept the reader interested.  The plot seemed centered on the thug and it kinda surprised this reader to realize it was a book about a police detective.  For a good part of the book, Det. Eisner was nowhere to be found.  The character of MD seemed indestructible and that wore on me after awhile.  I would have had a certain gun aimed three feet higher for a more permanent solution.  The book turned out to be a modern day urban version of a Mike Hammer mystery.

 

I think fans of old fashioned film noire detective movies and books will love this book.  It’s a page turner that keeps a reader on the edge of their seat.

 

A four-star work because the plot arc of MD’s focus on one family wasn’t really well defined.  Ran on a bit but the great action scenes did allay that somewhat.  A worthy addition to the annals of great detective novels.

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Schism-Detective-Mike-Eiser-Book-ebook/dp/B01M7Z2ACI

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/schism-clabe-polk/1121963089?ean=2940156962976

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/schism/id1172999648?mt=11

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/schism-26

 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/679160

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Clabe_Polk_Schism?id=OfdvDQAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

Overdrive https://www.overdrive.com/media/3030036/schism

 

Blio https://www.blio.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY0019840262%20&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12848&itemNum=ITEM:5

 

Scribd https://www.scribd.com/book/330015674/Schism

 

Author Biography:

Clabe Polk is into a second career as a fiction author.  Retiring after more than thirty-seven years of professional environmental protection, including criminal law enforcement and criminal law enforcement training, Mr. Polk has taken his professional experience, scientific background, a lifetime of practical skills from designing and building houses to music, his love of reading, research and writing and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.

He currently lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters and the family’s cockerpoo named ‘Annie’.

Clabe’s creation, Poplar Bluffs, Georgia, hometown of Detective Mike Eiser is a community all its own. Margie over at Bertie’s Café is never without a friendly cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea and she has her ears tuned to take in whatever you’re talking about, so y’all come see us!

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://clabepolkmysteryadve.ipage.com/index.html

Twitter https://twitter.com/ClabePolk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clabe-Polk/378843275625201

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/clabep/clabe-polks-book-board/

Google+ https://plus.google.com/112644276834570344182

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

The Du Lac Princess by @MaryAnneYarde Cover Reveal! #HistoricalFantasy #FridayReads


The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Title

The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 Of The Du Lac Chronicles)

 

Author

Mary Anne Yarde

 

Genre

Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb

War is coming…

 

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

 

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

 

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

 

 

Excerpt

“Philippe is a generous king. You are lucky.”

 

“Lucky?” Amandine laughed without humour and looked away.

 

“I don’t know how to say this, so I will come straight out with it.” Brother Daniel said as he put the brush back down. “Your husband, Lord Bretagne, petitioned the Pope for a divorce. The Pope granted it on the grounds of adultery and Devil worship.”

 

Amandine breathed out unsteadily. “I was expecting it,” she stated with a small shrug. “I did not deserve him. Lord Bretagne is a good man.”

 

“So why did you betray him? For the life of me, Amandine, I can not understand why.”

 

“Have you never loved? I am not talking about the love you have for God. I am talking about the love you have for another.”

 

Brother Daniel shook his head.

 

“Love is all consuming. You cannot stop it. You cannot prevent it. It just happened.”

 

“You are making excuses for yourself. You know the difference between right and wrong. You were married. And any feelings you had for Merton should have been buried deep down inside. Look what your love for him has done to you.”

 

“It wasn’t my love for him that did this to me. My love had nothing to do with it.”

 

“You should have known better.” Brother Daniel sat down again and took her hand back in his. “Life isn’t going to be easy for you from now on.”

 

Amandine giggled. “Thank you, Brother, for the warning,” she could not keep the sarcasm from her voice.

 

“This isn’t a laughing matter,” there was censure in the monk’s words.

 

“If I don’t laugh then I am going to cry. I have been made to feel like a sinner even though I haven’t sinned, not really. I am a woman without hope and without any friends or family. I have lost everyone I ever loved, and now you tell me that life is going to be difficult. How much more difficult can it get?”

 

“The Pope has condemned you with Bell, Book and Candle,” Brother Daniel stated. “But that is not all. The Abbot made sure that the Pope was all too aware of your crimes. I am sorry, Amandine, but the Pope will never welcome you back into the Church.”

 

Amandine gasped, her laughter faded and any colour that was left on her face vanished. “What?” her voice was quiet, barely audible. “But I thought…all the penance. I thought… Tell me it isn’t true.”

 

“You are damned,” Brother Daniel confirmed. “No one will want you, neither man nor Church. You are completely at the mercy of Philippe. But rest assured, I believe he has every intention of protecting you. I will not lie to you, my dear, you will be shunned, even with the King’s support. The chances of you marrying again are very slim.”

 

“I wasn’t looking for a new husband,” Amandine said as she tried to make sense of Brother Daniel’s words.

 

“It also means that you will never be able to leave the protection of the castle. The protection of this room.”

 

Amandine scoffed with realisation. “I am to be Philippe’s prisoner? Why don’t you just say what you mean?”

 

“You are not his prisoner, think of it as being his special guest. This is for your own protection. Many would see you hang or worse. I have spoken to the King. Alan will be in charge of your safety from now on. Philippe thought you would find no fault in that, as you and Alan appear to be on good terms. Amandine, you must understand there are many who saw what you did the day Merton died. They saw how you were dressed in his clothes. They saw how you threw yourself at him. How you got down on your knees and begged the King for mercy on Merton’s behalf. They saw how Merton reacted when you were threatened. And those who didn’t will have listened when the Abbot condemned you. You are a fallen woman, a threat to their good Christian souls. Our main concern now is keeping you alive. You must never leave this room. Ever.”

 

“But I thought—”

 

“That you were doing penance? So you have said. Did you really think that the Abbot was going to pardon you of all your sins? Oh, Amandine, you are not stupid. He was never going to give you absolution.”

 

Amandine shook her head, and she began to wring her hands together in despair.

 

“You must be strong,” Brother Daniel reached across and stilled her hands with his. “And brave. Just like our Lord Jesus was in those darkest of days. Remember, he too was condemned for a crime he did not commit.” He smiled at her and squeezed her hands. “I must leave you now. I shall make sure some food is brought up, but it will be tested before you eat it, so do not fear about being poisoned.”

 

“Poisoned?” Amandine gasped, she had not even thought of that.

 

“You need to rest and regain your strength.” Brother Daniel rose to his feet and smiled down at her. “I will be back tomorrow to listen to your confession.”

 

“If I am damned, then what need do I have to confess?” Amandine asked, staring defiantly back at the monk. “Besides,” she looked away, “I consort with demons. I am evil. I am a sinner. My soul will burn in Hell. I will be damned forever—”

 

“Ask for mercy, and you will receive it,” Brother Daniel stated, interrupting her.

 

“I have,” Amandine challenged back, “and look where that has got me.”

 

Buy Links

Coming soon…

 

In the meantime, catch up on the rest of the series on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography

Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Friday Book Round-Up Spotlights Three Amazing Children’s Books #FridayReads #kidlit #bookreview


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I love reading children’s books and have had the pleasure of discovering three amazing books. So, I’d like to share them with you as well as my thoughts. I hope you like them as much as I do!

 

Lizzie and Lou Seal by Patricia Keeler (Free as of Thursday night)

What will Lizzie do when Lou Seal loses his puff?

 

Lizzie loves her flip-flops. They go shuffle shuffle across the rug, smack smack on the floor tiles, and thwap thwap down the stairs. Lizzie also loves her blow-up toy, Lou Seal. Lizzie and Lou Seal are off to the beach, but beach fun turns to beach disaster when Lizzie loses her flip-flops and Lou Seal starts losing air! It’s a sink or swim scenario. What will Lizzie do?

 

This is a beautiful book with mixed media art and a lovely retro feel, for fans of Ladybug Girl at the Beach. Children will relate to Lizzie’s independence and creative problem solving and fall in love with Lou Seal themselves. Filled with lots of fun words and sounds, this is a perfect read aloud book for parents and children alike.

 

Review: Lizzie’s ready for the beach. She has her flip flops and her best friend, who happens to be her blow-up toy, Lou Seal. But along the way, Lizzie loses her flip flops but it turns serious when Lou Seal starts losing air. What will Lizzie do? A cute story with beautiful watercolor illustrations. It reminded me of when I was young and loved going to the beach. Ideal for kids ages 4-7.

 

Budding Reader Book Set 1: Cat and Rat by Melinda Thompson  (Author), Melissa Ferrell (Author), Doug Oglesby (Illustrator) – Free as of Thursday night

Reading is a neurologically complex skill. So, it isn’t surprising that many children find learning to read difficult. Make learning to read more fun with award-winning Budding Reader eBooks, arguably the easiest learn-to-read book series on the market. These research-based eBooks were developed in consultation with Cecilia Minden, Ph.D., the former Director of Language and Literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. They were illustrated by artist, Doug Oglesby, winner of one Emmy, five Emmy nominations, and three international awards from the Broadcast Designers Association.

Budding Reader eBooks use an innovative format to ease children into reading. Using research-based best practices identified by the National Reading Panel, each of the five Budding Reader eBook sets (one for each short vowel sound) tells an original story over the course of ten books. Previewing a book dramatically improves reading comprehension, so Book 1 in each set is a wordless picture book which introduces the story through colorful illustrations. Repetition aids brain development, so the story is retold in Books 2-10 with an ever-expanding vocabulary. By repeating words and gradually adding new ones, Budding Reader eBooks help new readers (even reluctant ones) experience success from the very start.

In total, the Budding Reader eBook series introduces more than 60 simple words including dozens of common sight words. Learning is reinforced with free companion writing worksheets (available at buddingreader.com) which provide a multisensory experience and enable children to practice both reading and writing. A free parent guide with tips for working with new readers is also available on the website.

The first set in the series, Cat and Rat, introduces the short “a” vowel sound and is designed to be a child’s very first reader. With only eleven words (and, at, can, cat, look, rat, see, stop, that, the, you) introduced over the course of ten books, Cat and Rat aims to provide even the most reluctant reader with a positive first introduction to reading.

Series: 
Set 1: Cat and Rat (Short a; 11 words)
Set 2: Wit and Kit (Short i; 17 words)
Set 3: Bugs (Short u; 18 words)
Set 4: Hop! (Short o; 18 words)
Set 5: Hens (Short e; 22 words)

For every eBook set sold, Budding Reader donates one to a child in need. One for You. One for the World. A Better World with Every Purchase.

Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner: The Mom’s Choice Awards has named Cat and Rat among the very best in family-friendly media, products and services.

This content is optimized for tablets.

 

Review: I loved this book and it’s perfect for any child learning to read. It’s ten books in one and it starts with a series of illustration. Then with each new book (or section) it introduces the reader to a new word so by the end of reading book ten, the reader will have learned ten new words. I love the concept of this and it makes reading fun for kids. The best part is that for every book sold, Budding Reader donates one to a needy child. Brilliant! Ideal for kids ages 3 – 5.

 

If You Have A Hat: A Silly Rhyming Picture Book for Kids by Gerald Hawksley  (Author, Illustrator)

If you have a hat, put it on your head!
Simple silly rhyming text and jolly pictures make this a super book for sharing with children. Ideal for encouraging creative kids to make up their own silly rhymes, as well!
A great illustrated children’s book for ages 2 and up, it is also suitable for beginner readers, or for bedtime rhyme time.
(The ebook version contains extra pages of hat-based jokes and puzzles, making it even more value for money.)

 

Review: I’m a big fan of silly rhymes in children’s books. Not only is it fun to read (aloud or to yourself), kids love it. Hawksley reminds me of Dr. Seuss in that he awakens the imagination in every reader and is a very talented artist. His illustrations are very colorful and the wording is easy for anyone to understand. In this one, his subject is hats and it’s a cute one. My favorite one has to be this joke – What kind of hats do penguins wear? Ice caps! Highly recommend! Ideal for ages 3 – 6.

 

 

What’s the best children’s book you’ve read recently? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Child of the Kindred by @Mtmagee1013M Must Be Savored, Like a Fine Wine #fantasy #FridayReads


Child of the Kindred

 

Title: Child of the Kindred: The Rinefield Chronicles: Book 2

Author: M. T. Magee

Genre: Heroic Fantasy, Fantasy, Medieval Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

ATTENTION All Lovers of Gaelic Historical Fantasy and Romance
BOOK 2 IN THE SERIES The award winning epic historical fantasy saga continues.

 

Enter the realm of Rinefield, where love, danger, adventure and romance awaits you. Their world is changing and a new era has begun. Princess Laurel finds her kingdom of Gwenlais, torn and shattered from a bloody siege. Her people now looking to her, to help them rise above the ruin and misery inflicted upon their once peaceful and sheltered realm. Laurel and her beloved Prince Caleb, must find a way to unite their kingdoms, as never before. The enemy from a distant land makes a bold and savage attempt, to thwart the unity of the two kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin. The odds have never been greater against the realms or the two lovers that hold the kingdoms together. Will their people and their love survive all they have lost? Will new life rise from above the ruins?

 

My Review:

To say that Child of the Kindred swept me away, not unlike Tolkien did, is an honor I’m proud to bestow. A beautifully-written heroic fantasy that must be savored, like a fine wine.

 

Princess Laurel has been captured by the despicable Warrick. Hope is slipping away as Warrick’s army plunders Gwenlais, leaving only death and destruction in its path. Her people look to her for guidance and strength and she, in turn, looks to Prince Caleb to rescue her from the clutches of Warrick. Will Caleb liberate Laurel in time or has Warrick driven a wedge between the two lovers for good?

 

I loved this, even more than book one, and it ranks right up there with LOTR. Filled with rich dialogue, intriguing characters (yes, even the antagonists), heart-stopping action and all-encompassing romance. There’s a lot going on, what with Laurel being captured by the enemy and a kingdom (Gwenlais) in ruins. The uncertainty mounts as the plot twists in directions I didn’t see coming.

 

But what really captured me, as a reader, was the descriptive narration. While the kingdoms are fictitious, they seemed so real to me. I could envision the beauty of the mountains and the rich detail of what life was like for these people. The author shared with me that she got her inspiration from Scotland and Ireland. A masterful job on world-building.

 

If you’re looking to get swept away to a new world, filled with adventure, treachery, romance, warring kingdoms and so much more, pick up Child of the Kindred today. Although, I’d recommend reading book one first. Perfect for high fantasy (GOT, LOTR, Vikings) fans!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Warrick. I know, I know, he’s the big bad but he’s so much fun to read. He’s a wicked man and evokes terror in his wake. Scenes between him and Princess Laurel are a treat to read.

 

My Rating: 5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Child-Kindred-Rinefield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07286SYTR/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Child-Kindred-Rinefield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07286SYTR/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Child-Kindred-Rinefield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07286SYTR/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35125631-child-of-the-kindred

 

MT Magee

 

Author Biography:

I am an international #1 bestselling author of #YA historical medieval epic fantasy, that is beautifully romantic and whispers of Gaelic legend. I am very honored to also be listed as Listopia’s #1 Fantasy Romance (not urban) as well as #1Best First Book in a Fantasy or Sci-fi series.

 

 

I live in New England on a small farm with my husband Francis Magee, and son Charles. My oldest son Tyler just moved to North Carolina where he is a very busy restaurant manager.

 

 

My favorite authors are Tolkien, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the earlier works of Terry Brooks.

 

 

I have always loved fantasy especially that in the epic scope. It has to be romantic, because what is epic fantasy without an epic romance.

 

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/therienfieldchronicles/

https://therienfieldchronicles.com/

https://twitter.com/Mtmagee1013M

https://www.pinterest.com/frumpyfarmer/the-treasure-of-gwenlais-the-rienfield-chronicles-/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14389603.M_T_Magee

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Angelic #Fantasy with dark undertones — Gylded Wings by @LNightingale #Romance #99c #books


GyldedWings_w10451_750

 

Title                Gylded Wings

Author            Linda Nightingale

Genre             Dark Fantasy/Romance

Publisher         The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

 

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

 

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

 

Book Trailer

 

 

Grab this book today for only 99 cents!

 

 

Excerpt

 

Though my other brother held the sword, he winged a retreat.  I did not know what had happened, or if I could command the lightning again.

Neither did he.

“What of the freak now, Adamus? Will you risk your weapon against mine?”

He brandished his sword. “You bastard.  You murdered your brother.”

Wing beats slow, I flew toward him.  “He was a stranger intent on slaying me.”

I spread four wings to their fullest.  Adamus’ eyes widened, fear written on his face.  He gripped his sword tighter.  “By the Beast! Two pairs of wings.”

My body was a hard-plucked string, power humming through me.  I smiled at my brother, drove my four wings down, swept them up, and attacked.  The enmity that had festered between us must end…in defeat for one of us.

Pacing below, Brit screamed, “Gyldan, the gate is closing.  Come down now or we’re trapped.  We won’t stand a chance. I hear horses.”

On the horizon, the rumble of hooves and clouds of dust announced a troop of riders.  Queen Mary had not only sent her winged army but her cavalry.  Sunlight glinted on armor and the red and black of the horses’ trappings.  I banked hard left and plunged into a reckless descent.  Shouts pursued me.

“Coward,” Adamus barked.  “Fight me!”

My brother waved his sword but made no move to follow.  Knowing such power was mine—that I had dissolved another angel in a shower of sparks—thrilled yet terrified me.  I had never known Daniel.  Now, I never would.

Frantic wing beats pulled me out of the dive.  I glanced over my shoulder as Adamus plummeted into pursuit.  I yearned to turn and fight, but on the ground Brit jumped up and down, waving her arms…and Adamus was my only brother.  The shimmering mirage behind her faded.  She shoved her arm into the dizzying colors, and the limb disappeared to the elbow.

Light glimmered off my wings as I unfurled them to cushion my landing, shifted my weight, and ran toward Brit and the dimming gate.  Adamus’ laughter pursued me.  He sailed toward us.  The cavalry thundered over the crest of a hill.

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win an e-copy of  Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody, a paranormal romance.

If you were an angel, what would be your angelic name? Answer in the comments below to win.

Open Internationally.

 

 

Buy Links

Amazon:  http://a.co/gwTAyJ7

 

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gylded-wings-linda-nightingale/1126834911?ean=2940158904028

 

The Wild Rose Press:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5285-gylded-wings-paperback.html

 

MM & Me RT

 

Author Biography

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

 

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt.  She retired from a career as a retired legal assistant, just joined the Houston BMW Club, and the stars in her crown—two wonderful sons. In a former life, she must have had to walk everywhere because today she is into transportation with fine taste in expensive horses and hot cars! She likes to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

 

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

 

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

 

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

 

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Re-imagined Camelot #Books Mrs. N Recommends! #Arthurian #Fantasy #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I love reading books that are retellings and/or re-imagined fairy tales/folklore. I just finished a creative re-imagined view of Camelot, you know King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, and it got me thinking about other Camelot books I’ve read. So, here are seven I’d recommend:

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde  (Author)

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley  (Author)

In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.

 

 

The Once and Future King by T. H. White  (Author)

T.H. White’s masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
 
Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.

During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guenever and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain—and to the king himself.

 

The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (The Warlord Chronicles Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell  (Author)

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.

 

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

 

As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

 

 

The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart (Author)

The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and powerful of myths, and Mary Stewart’s classic The Merlin Trilogy is one of its most beloved and acclaimed retellings. In prose that is as vividly, achingly real as it is poetic, New York Times bestselling author Mary Stewart brings to life the man behind the myth: Myrddin Emrys … Merlinus Ambrosius … Merlin.

 

The Crystal Cave
The Hollow Hills
The Last Enchantment

 

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myrddin Emrys — or, as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood in The Crystal Cave, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man’s-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of UtherPendragon … and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always.

 

Keeping watch over the young Arthur Pendragon in The Hollow Hills, the prince and prophet Merlin Ambrosius is haunted by dreams of the magical sword Caliburn, hidden for centuries. When Uther Pendragon is killed in battle, the time of destiny is at hand, and Arthur must claim the fabled sword to become the true High King of Britain.

 

In The Last Enchantment, Arthur Pendragon is king at last. Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise as Merlin works to keep safe the once and future king. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause — Arthur’s own half sister — ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven.

 

Extensively researched and beautifully written, The Merlin Trilogy is the epic culmination of an acclaimed career, a legend in and of itself.

 

 

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey: A Novel by Paula Brackston  (Author)

Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

 

She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

 

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura’s story and Merlin’s. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.

 

From New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an enchanting tale of love and magic featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, an intriguing historical backdrop, and a relatable heroine that readers are sure to fall in love with.

 

 

The First Round Table: The Legends of King Arthur : Book 1 by Ben Gillman  (Author)

At just 18 years old, Arthur is on the verge of being crushed under the weight of his great destiny. The mighty castle at Tintagel has fallen. King Uther Pendragon lies dead. The mad King Vortigern sits upon the throne with a dragon at his command. And Merlin, having turned traitor, stands at the new king’s side. Now Arthur, with the help of the mysterious sword in the stone and his loyal mentors, Gawain and Percival, embarks on a daring mission to retake the crown. However, his greatest challenges lie not in overcoming his enemies, but in finding a way to reunite with two lost friends: a wounded knight called Lancelot and an assassin named Guinevere.

Experience the classic tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table like never before with this thrilling re-imaginings of ancient legend. Packed with swordplay, magic, romance and humor, “The Legends of King Arthur” promise to take readers of all ages on an unforgettable journey of fantasy and adventure!

Witness new twists on classic stories like:
The mysteries of the Sword in the Stone
The origins of the Round Table
The treachery of the wizard Merlin

Inspired by classic Arthurian works including:
Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte D’Arthur”
and
T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King”

 

 

What’s the best Camelot-themed book you’ve read? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood @RowanAshArt #bookreview #PNR #FridayReads


Royal_Enchantment

 

Title: Royal Enchantment

 

Author: Sharon Ashwood

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Book Blurb:

She married the king. She wanted the man.

 

Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur was a political partnership, never a romance. Merlin knows that the king’s court, newly restored at a medieval theme park, will only be complete if Arthur has his lady. Little did anyone suspect that once Guinevere gets a taste of twenty-first-century freedoms that this ancient queen would lose interest in belonging to any man—even a royal one.

 

It takes a dragon, and some passionate nights spent in each other’s arms, to lure her back to her husband’s side. Arthur is willing to accept Gwen’s help in protecting the new Camelot from a fae menace, but the bigger challenge will be wooing back Guinevere for a second chance at love…

 

Enchanted Warrior, the first story in this stand-alone series, is a 2017 RITA Finalist for Best Paranormal Romance.

 

 

My Review:

Camelot is reborn in the modern era and thanks to Merlin, Queen Guinevere is reborn in the present. The fae are on the verge of attacking the human realm using a feisty, independent dragon and the last thing King Arthur needs is his queen meddling in his affairs. Old arguments threaten to drive a wedge between king and queen, not to mention the knights. Can King Arthur see his Queen for the woman she is and make her his equal or is the royal enchantment a faint memory?

 

I’m a big fan of all things Camelot and while this was an original take on King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, I found it hard to relate to the characters, especially King Arthur and his knights. Arthur is a ROYAL JERK and a pompous one at that. The conflicts between him and Gwen were never-ending, making me sometimes wish the dragon would just light King Arthur’s body on fire and be done with it. The belittling of Gwen in modern times got so old. I’m elated the ending was a happy one but boy, it took a long, long time to get there.

 

What I loved most was Guinevere. She’s regal in all regards but the more she’s in modern times, the more growth happens to her. She’s an intelligent woman whose search for knowledge makes her astounding, even by today’s standards. She could run the world and I’d like to be her advisor! Gwen is the best part of this book, hands down.

 

If you’re looking for a modern-day feminist Camelot story, I highly recommend Royal Enchantment. It’s a great series and kudos to Ashwood for bringing a fresh approach to the King Arthur lore.

 

Many thanks to Harlequin Books and Sharon Ashwood for giving me an ARC via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “Battling monsters was a man’s business. Never mind that it was the women, left at home, who had the most face time with whatever horror was tearing the village apart. They typically had the beastie on the run by the time Sir Whatever showed up to poke it with a sword.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Enchantment-Sharon-Ashwood/dp/0373139918/

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/royal-enchantment-sharon-ashwood/1125315034?ean=9780373139910

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/royal-enchantment-1

 

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/royal-enchantment/id1198277378?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488031205_royal-enchantment.html

 

Author Biography:

Sharon Ashwood is a freelance journalist, novelist, desk jockey, and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle fantasy would never work out, so she writes paranormal romances instead. Sharon lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsharonashwood/?ref=br_rs

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RowanAshArt

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rowanashart/

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rowanashart/

 

Author Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Ashwood/e/B003FDTFF0/

 

Website: http://www.rowanartistry.com

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Friday Book Round-Up: 10 Heart-Wrenchingly Disappointing Books #FridayReads #books


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Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. 

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I received an email this week announcing that Dan Brown has a new novel coming out this Fall called Origin. I was instantly intrigued and wish listed it. I mentioned it to Mr. N over dinner and he promptly reminded me how much I disliked Dan Brown’s previous release, Inferno. I totally misplaced how much I loathed Dan Brown and how I threw the hardcover in the river nearby (not in real life as that’s littering, but what a great visual, eh?). It was such a disappointment… and that got me thinking.

 

As readers, we’ve all been disappointed by books. Whether it’s our favorite author trying a new genre, a book recommended to us by friends/family/strangers/Goodreads Buddies, or everyone is talking about a must-read book, we’ve all read a book that just didn’t live up to the hype. So, I thought and thought ‘til my head hurt, and created a top 10 Heart-Wrenchingly Disappointing Books. Check out my list and then add your own in the comments below. Friends don’t let friends read bad books…

 

Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon Book 4) by Dan Brown  (Author)

Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

 

One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel by Jeaniene Frost  (Author)

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving-leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

“Cat and Bones are combustible together.”  #1 bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

“The Frost name guarantees quality!” Romantic Times.

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki  (Author)

April 2017 marks 20 years since Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad first made waves in the Personal Finance arena.
It has since become the #1 Personal Finance book of all time… translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

20 Years… 20/20 Hindsight
In the 20th Anniversary Edition of this classic, Robert offers an update on what we’ve seen over the past 20 years related to money, investing, and the global economy. Sidebars throughout the book will take readers “fast forward” — from 1997 to today — as Robert assesses how the principles taught by his rich dad have stood the test of time.

In many ways, the messages of Rich Dad Poor Dad, messages that were criticized and challenged two decades ago, are more meaningful, relevant and important today than they were 20 years ago.

As always, readers can expect that Robert will be candid, insightful… and continue to rock more than a few boats in his retrospective.

Will there be a few surprises? Count on it.

Rich Dad Poor Dad
• Explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich
• Challenges the belief that your house is an asset
• Shows parents why they can’t rely on the school system to teach their kids
about money
• Defines once and for all an asset and a liability
• Teaches you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial
success

 

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason: A Novel by Helen Fielding  (Author)

With another devastatingly hilarious, ridiculous, unnervingly accurate take on modern womanhood, Bridget Jones is back. (v.g.)

 

Monday 27 January

 

“7:15 a.m. Hurrah! The wilderness years are over. For four weeks and five days now have been in functional relationship with adult male, thereby proving am not love pariah as recently feared.”

 

Wednesday 5 March

 

“7:08 p.m. Am assured, receptive, responsive woman of substance. My sense of self comes not from other people but . . .from . . .myself? That can’t be right.”

 

Lurching from the cappuccino bars of Notting Hill to the blissed-out shores of Thailand, everyone’s favorite Singleton Bridget Jones begins her search for The Truth in spite of pathetically unevolved men, insane dating theories, and Smug Married advice. She experiences a zeitgeist-esque Spiritual Epiphany somewhere between the pages of How to Find the Love You Want Without Seeking It (can self-help books really help self?), protective custody, and a lightly chilled Chardonnay.

 

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell  (Author)

t’s a jungle out there. Dress accordingly.

In her fourth book, Candace Bushnell brings readers close to three powerful New York City women, each at the top of her field, each navigating her way through work, relationships, success, and scandal.

Nico O’Neilly is the ultimate executive-glamorous and always in control–until her marriage loses steam, and she is tempted to find refuge in the arms of a younger man. Wendy Healy, president of Parador Pictures and mother of three children, may not be able to save her most important production–her family. And Victory Ford, a wildly successful fashion designer and girlfriend of a billionaire, begins to question love and money–why shouldn’t a woman be as rich as a man?

 

Full House (Max Holt #1) (Full Series) by Janet Evanovich  (Author)

Polo instructor Nicholas Kaharchek senses danger the minute he sees Billie Pearce. She represents everything he’s always avoided. Happy in her home life, a divorced mother of two, Billie is the epitome of stability. She’s also irresistibly fascinating to the footloose Nick, who is instantly attracted…in a car crash sort of way. Their fateful meeting will put them on a collision course of seduction, dysfunction, mayhem, murder―and maybe even love…

 

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1) by Veronica Roth  (Author)

This first book in Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel the inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions of teen and adult readers.

 

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.

 

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

 

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  (Author)

The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tudor court of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the infamous Boleyn family.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.

 

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes  (Author)

Frances Mayes – widely published poet, gourmet cook and travel writer – opens the door on a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. She finds faded frescoes beneath the whitewash in the dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles – and even a wayward scorpion under her pillow. And from her traditional kitchen and simple garden she creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, all included in this book. In the vibrant local markets and neighbouring hill towns, the author explores the nuances of the Italian landscape, history and cuisine. Each adventure yields delightful surprises – the perfect panettone, an unforgettable wine, or painted Etruscan tombs. Doing for Tuscany what Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is a feast for all the senses.

 

Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters Series Book 1) by M.L. Bullock  (Author)

Carrie Jo has a secret—she dreams about the past. The handsome and wealthy Ashland Stuart has hired her to uncover the history and the secrets of Seven Sisters, an aging antebellum mansion in sultry downtown Mobile, Alabama. A series of dreams, an untimely death and the betrayal of someone she loves lead her back in time to uncover the truth about a missing young heiress and a web of secrets. Will Carrie Jo slip into the shadows of Seven Sisters, following in the ghostly footsteps of the lost young woman, or can she solve this tragic mystery and find her own happiness?

 

 

What’s the most disappointing book that you’ve read? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Blackheart by Raelle Logan @GallegKris #FridayReads #HistoricalRomance @MoBPromos


 

BLACKHEART

 

The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1 by @MarloBerliner #YA #Paranormal #bookreview


TGCCover

 

Title: The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Marlo Berliner

Genre: Upper YA Paranormal with Adult Crossover Appeal

 

Book Blurb:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

 

Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

 

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

 

To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

 

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he’s being pursued. Demons are after him because he’s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

 

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea.

 

 

My Review:

Michael Andrews has a charmed life, that is, until his young life is cut short due to an accident. But contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t move on to Heaven or Hell; he’s roaming haplessly among the living. Not sure what to do or how to feel, he clings to the past and pines for the future he’ll never get. But then he meets Tom who becomes like a mentor to him. He discovers he’s got the Devil on his tail, hunting him down to drag him into Hell. Just when the afterlife was getting interesting…

 

Michael on the run when he bumps into Sarah, a ghost just like him, and they instantly connect. Can two spirits fall in love? Anything is possible but it’s against the ghostly rules. Is their love affair over before it starts and why does the Devil want his soul so badly?

 

I’m a huge paranormal fan and this ghostly tale, while not scary in any way, sheds light on what the afterlife might be like. Confusing, sad, overwhelming, happy, are some of the emotions portrayed which made me think long after I finished the book.

 

I took a full star off my rating for the abrupt ending. I know that this is book one in the series but for me to read the next one, there needs to be some kind of conclusion, a plot arc closed, something. Disappointing.

 

I loved the backdrop of New Jersey and the author’s descriptive narration transported me. The world-building in The Ghost Chronicles, while not 100% original, suspended my disbelief completely. I was completely taken into Michael’s head through his POV and his reactions made it an excellent read. The romance, while sweet, made me smile. Michael and Sarah are so cute together, exploring love and desire as ghosts.

 

If you love paranormal with a touching romance, pick this up today. I look forward to reading book two and seeing what happens next.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “To be warm again, to tingle again, to feel again, these sensations were so familiar, yet already so forgotten.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon –

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

Barnes & Noble –

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ghost-chronicles-marlo-berliner/1123052689?ean=9780996972413

 

Walmart –

https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Ghost-Chronicles/54934980

 

marloheadshot

 

Author Biography:

Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. The book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named a FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency and she writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is also a freelance editor with Chimera Editing. Her second book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES BOOK 2, will be released in August 2017.

 

When she’s not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.marloberliner.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marlo-Berliner/e/B017EVF4AS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarloBerliner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marloberliner
Instagram: https://instagram.com/marloberliner
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14560514.Marlo_Berliner

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N