Friday, December 9, 2016

The Thirteenth Moon by Melissa Volker



THE THIRTEENTH MOON
A Moya Fairwell Adventure
by Melissa Volker
YA Fantasy




Moya Fairwell has just turned 13. Her classmates think she's weird. Her odd, loveable weed-eating grandmother has been talking in riddles. A ring on her finger itches like crazy, and she's been hearing a strange voice call to her through the trees.
But when the full moon flashes green, and the clock strikes thirteen, and a boy with white hair finds himself on her doorstep in the middle of the night -- then things really start to get weird.
Join Moya Fairwell and her new friend, Fritz, as they journey to the wondrous, magical land of Rimorr. There they discover amazing creatures, fight fantastic monsters, and hopefully protect the balance of good and evil, fulfilling the prophecy of...The Thirteenth Moon.







And here she is. . .

Melissa Volker started out life as an actress, studying at New York University, and the Strasberg Institute. She worked with a theater focused on arts-and-education, bringing production workshops into schools. But after more than a decade living as the struggling artist in NYC, she wanted a saner life, and moved to Boston.
There she met her husband, and they had their son (now fourteen). She was always writing, but after leaving acting behind there was a creative void. The writing filled that.  She also began exploring photography, finding that sometimes a story or moment wants to be capture in words, other times it is better told visually.
She has two literary fiction novels, "Delilah of Sunhats and Swans" which won a 5 star Reader's Choice award, and a collection of short stories inspired by The Great Gatsby, living as a sensitive starving artist, and surviving NYC entitled, "Still, Life: a collection of echoes."
"The Thirteenth Moon: a Moya Fairwell adventure" is her first young adult, fantasy novel. Whimsical, silly, and full of intense magic she has been called a cross between C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. If asked who the book is appropriate for, she'll say it's for anyone who can enjoy it -- regardless of age!
The book has a companion website with a "secret room" that can only be unlocked with a password from the story. Once in, readers can continue exploring the world of Rimorr, including the mythology, the creatures and more.

She looks forward to continuing Moya's story (for there is certainly more!) and looks forward to hearing from readers about their experience reading the book!

Book Website: http://www.thethirteenthmoon.com                 
Author / Photographer Website: http://www.melissavolker.com

Facebook: /mvolkerwordphoto

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Bloodmoon by Aurora Whittet with Giveaway



BLOODMOON
Bloodmark Saga, Book Three
by Aurora Whittet
YA Paranormal Romance
400 pages



Just months shy of her claiming at Carrowmore and fulfilling a centuries-old prophecy, werewolf Ashling Boru has stepped into her role as the Crimson Queen. She finally has the support of her pack and her love for Grey is stronger than ever.

But it's not easy being queen. Ashling's guardian, Baran, has been captured by the Dvergars, a family of evil wolves who will stop at nothing to possess Ashling's power and destroy everything--and everyone--she loves. Ashling must unite the clans and build an army to stand against the Dvergars before it's too late. Unfortunately, the Dvergars also have armies of the darkest creatures the world has ever known.

Shadows loom, growing ever larger as generations of pack secrets begin to unfold. Ashling's people, the humans they protect, and Old Mother Earth herself all hang in the balance of Ashling's choices. Will Ashling have to forsake her true love to save the world? And will she have the strength to do it?

Bloodmoon is the thrilling conclusion to the Bloodmark Saga.




MY TIDBITS

This is an amazing ending to a series, which has it all--fast paced action, tear jerking moments, high stakes, impossible risks, evil villains, romance and a heroine to cheer for. 

Ashling has now accepted her role as the Crimson Queen. Surrounded by an every growing group of family, friends and supporters, she charges on to complete the impossible task the prophecy has laid out before her.

This book starts off where the second one left off, meaning that this is by no means a stand alone. The characters we've learned to known and love (or hate) gain more depth. They've matured, are bonding and the journey that started in book one is unfolding in all of its pain and glory. Ashling has not only accepted her role in the prophecy but is becoming the queen in every possible way. . .but not without a little teenage fun dabbled in to add just the right amount of light heartedness. There are also a few new characters introduced, which mold seamlessly in with the already familiar ones.

Although the other two books in the series already were packed, these pages hold even more. A lot has to be resolved on many different levels, leaving little time for a chance to rest or breath. The richness of the werewolf heritage and beliefs comes to full scale as the upcoming battle between good and evil adds thick layers of tension the entire way through. This isn't a book easily put down and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat most of the time. 

There's romance, and both the hero and heroine are characters to root for. Still at times, the relationship comes over a bit thick for my taste and the frequency of intimate scenes pushes the borders for a YA audience. In other words, this isn't something I'd recommend for anyone under 16. 

The ending is a real treat and ties up most of the plot strings nicely. There are many unexpected twists and turns, as well as a lovely settling of various points and questions brought up earlier in the series. It was definitely worth a read, and I can highly recommend it to paranormal romance fans who love a tale which pulls in and refuses to let go.



GIVEAWAY!!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christine's Christmas Countdown!!!




The aim of this little book is to help busy mothers enjoy Christmas preparation by minimizing the worry that you will not get everything done in time and avoiding the stress of the last minute rush. You must start planning in mid-September. Then, if you follow the guidelines and suggestions in this book, you should be relaxed and remember everything. It covers shopping, household chores, children's needs, clothing, decorations, party planning and safety tips. It reminds you to do everything from buying a few spare presents to getting the chimney swept! You will be guided through September, October, November and December. There is advice on keeping a clear and accurate diary and aids to list making for shopping and all Christmas tasks. Alongside all this there are tips to help you look and feel good throughout the festive season.


Purchase on Amazon UK here 



Wise Words!
(and a sneak peek)




There are no hard and fast rules for the last few days running up to Christmas Day. Much depends on your plans, but do make lists and go through each meal very carefully at least twenty-four hours beforehand. That way you will remember to take things out of the freezer on time and can have food prepared for cooking. Write a time schedule for cooking so that everything is ready on time. In particular, be sure you know the time required to cook the turkey. Plan the table setting and do it the night before if possible. Make a list of everything you need to put on the table, from condiments to serving spoons. Select the wines so that they will be at the correct temperature. Remember drinks for children. Have babies’ meals prepared well in advance.

So that you have as much free time as possible on Christmas morning, prepare as much as possible on Christmas Eve, e.g. stuffing, cranberry sauce and the vegetables.

For the Christmas pudding, have the holly to put on the top, the brandy to pour over it and matches to light it ready for a grand entrance with a flaming pudding.

You will now hopefully enjoy Christmas Day. Keep calm, feel good and forget your diet.



MY TIDBITS

This is a great, short read for all those mothers, grandmothers, aunts...actually, any woman...who wants to enjoy the holiday season with a little bit less unjoyful stress.

Packed with helpful hints, the book goes through a very organized, month to month break down on how best to approach the holiday season. The chapters are broken down by months, starting with September. As Christmas Day approaches, it's broken down into weeks to ensure all last minute details are touched upon. Each chapter begins with supportive words and thoughts before heading into a list with items, which might be necessary to ensure a seamless holiday celebration. The lists are very geared for women, hitting everything from decorations to wardrobe to presents to guest preparation. At the end of each chapter, several pages are left with open lined lists for personal notes, thoughts or whatevers to help organize the thoughts for that month.

The entire thing is fun to read and does mention several things one might not think of. Of course, there are some items which won't fit every woman, her life-style or festival plans, but in general, the ideas can be applied to other areas and offer great thoughts to help new ideas along.

Summed up, this is the perfect, little book for those women who have a lot to plan for the holidays and could use the extra help in keeping things organized.



About Christine Harrington
Dr. Christine Harrington is a retired Consultant Dermatologist who now lives in a farmhouse in South Wales where she spends her time gardening. Christine loves nothing more than spending time with her family and dogs, especially over Christmas.











Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: Hey AJ It's Saturday by Martellus Bennett


HEY A.J., IT'S SATURDAY
by Marty
and 
The Imagination Agency

Find the Interactive Story on Amazon!






MY TIDBITS

Packed with tons of fun and loads of hilarious excitement, this story grabs right away and is sure to become a favorite with kids.

AJ wakes up early in the morning and is ready for some breakfast! What she finds in the kitchen tops any normal food she could hope for. Before she knows it, breakfast becomes a magical feast with the most amazing animals she'd could ever hope to have appear.

The first thing which grabs me about this series is the quality. This is a project created with love, and that radiates from the plot to the characters and through every step of every page. The illustrations are simply a delight. The colorful adventures come to life with adorable characters and wonderful attention to just the right amount of detail. They have a very modern day flair which is sure to capture attention and demand that little readers flip through the book again and again.

As to the story itself, there's only one word for it--fun. AJ is an energetic, sweet girl with just the right amount of spice. Her imagination knows no bounds and invites to unforgettable adventure and playful situations. Almost every page demands at least a smile, and each animal is so much fun that kids are sure to find their personal favorite. 

There's also a lovely amount of family warmth depicted in the pages. The joy parents share with their children is brought across clearly and shows how wonderful family life can be. Not every moment should be serious, but even the most mundane, every day tasks can turn into terrific adventures. 

Summed up, this is a great book for kids ages 3+. It sparks imagination, lures in with fantastic characters and lets the fun simply take flight. I can highly recommend it and hope to see much more of AJ, her family and her priceless friends in the future.


About The HEY AJ APP: The App is an imaginative, interactive children’s picture book that comes to life at their touch! Kids will be able to launch into a user friendly game of A.J's strange, wacky, kooky kitchen helping AJ along as she tries to make breakfast for herself on an ordinary Saturday morning. The kitchen is essentially a game filled with bacon frying pandas, swimming pancakes, a slippery strawberry banana stream, monkeys and even a horse all trying to make a delicious dish to fill their tummies. Each animal does something unique when you tap them and the objective is to get AJ from her room to the kitchen and maneuver making breakfast with the wild characters that spring from her seemingly ordinary kitchen!




Current Press:
·         First Take:http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=16227089
·         Russillo & Kanell:http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=16233465
·         Le Batard and Stugotz:http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=16229496
·         NFL Live (Trey Wingo):http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=16231873

Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Bloodrealms by Aurora Whittet with Giveaway


BLOODREALMS
Bloodmark Saga, Book Two
by Aurora Wittet
YA Paranormal
400 pages



Werewolf princess Ashling Boru's eighteenth birthday is only a year away, which means that she only has twelve months before she is claimed and fulfills her prophecy to unite the packs and lead her people. Her father decrees that her four suitors must fight in the Bloodrealms, the werewolves' ancient underground fighting world, and the winner will have King Boru's choice to win Ashling's hand. The wolf laws are rigid and barbaric, and Ashling's illicit love for Grey, if discovered, will mean his death. But when Ashling and Grey get trapped in the blood-soaked depths of the Bloodrealms, they find ancient horrors far greater than Ashling's father's rule.

With betrayal around every corner and old nemeses set to destroy Ashling, she is more divided than ever between the destiny she didn't choose and the love that she did. To make matters worse, her deci!!sion will not only set the course of her future, but the future of her entire race.

Bloodrealms is the second novel in Whittet’s Bloodmark saga.




MY TIDBITS

Packed with non-stop action, this book brings the wonders and horrors of the world of werewolves to life.

After escaping near death and killing her largest enemy, Ashling finds herself the object of four suitors affections. Her father insists she choose one, but whatever choice she makes brings risks she's not really willing to take with it. To make matters more difficult, the pressure of fulfilling a prophecy hangs over her like a dark shadow. Some want to control her, some want to possess her and others simply want her dead.

This book takes off where the first one in the series leaves off, and I wouldn't recommend it as a stand-alone.

Action, multi-layered agendas and hidden dangers guarantee that this isn't a book easily put down. Ashling has began to accept who the prophecy says she is, but that doesn't mean she has a clue what she should do about it. Her desire to do her best and protect everyone makes her easy to root for, especially since she's put in the awkward situation of having to choose between suitors, which her father has picked out for her. The inner struggle to make her father happy, while remaining true to herself makes her easy to sympathize with and presents a lovely inner struggle to her somewhat rebellious personality.

Each character is given their own history, personality and depth. Although it's clear which one of the suitors Ashling prefers, the author does an excellent job of making each one (mostly) seem worthy. By the end when her choice happens, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for the ones she didn't chose.

There's quite a bit of romance thrown in with the action. At times, it was sweet. Other times, the sways toward a somewhat love triangle bothered a bit.

There are so many aspects to this werewolf culture and life, and the details made it interesting. The multi-layers and possibilities give the traditional myths an entirely new depth and background. Some of these were grabbing and intriguing. Others could have been better founded. At times, solutions or new problems seem to pop up for the sake of simply adding more tension and action. But in general, the world makes sense and grabs so much that it's easy to get lost in.

This book was even better than the first and promises an exciting read until the very last page. There's lots of romance but tons of action and adventure as well. I'll definitely be grabbing book three to see how all of this comes together at the end.



GIVEAWAY!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: I Want to be a Monster When I Grow Up by M.T. Weber


I WANT TO BE A MONSTER WHEN  GROW UP
by M.T. Weber
Picture Book
ages 3+
36 pages






The story of one little boy and his big imagination.




MY TIDBITS

This is a cute book which dives into the wild world of a kid's imagination and shows just how monstrous it can get.

Hudson, a little boy, wants nothing more than to be a monster. A pretty scary one. But is it possible to really grow up to be one?

The monster grabs from the very first page and immediately throws the reader into the imaginary world. The descriptions of all monster traits are tons of fun and open up the vastness of how far kids' imaginations can go. But even Hudson isn't totally dumb, and the doubt of whether or not all dreams really coming true comes across without being slapped in the face too clearly. This, however, doesn't kill the amazing power of kids' dreams and how vivid they can become. The flow of a main plot seems a little disjointed at times, but kids are sure to like it.

The illustrations go right along with the story, bring Hudson's visions to life in all of their variety. These aren't done with over precision, and are colorful and fun. Kids will enjoy flipping through them and are sure to discover their favorite 'beasts' along the way.


And here he is. . .

Matt Weber has been editor-in-chief of Extreme How-To magazine since 2003. He is author of The Quick & Easy Home DIY Manualas well as the novel The Bull and the short story collections, A Dark & Winding Road and Seven Feet Under. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife and kids. I Want to Be a Monster When I Grow Up is his first book for children.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh





My Friends Are All Strange 

by Margaret Lesh
 October 18th 2016
YA Contemporary





My friends are all strange.
Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.
I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange… Like me.
Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in My Friends Are All Strange, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to Normalish.

MY TIDBITS

YA contemporary, especially such which deals with more serious topics, usually isn't my first choice. But there was something about the blurb which made me want to take a chance on this one. I'm glad I did.

Becca is a high school girl with tons of potential, but something flicks the switch. Before she knows what's happening, her life has spun out of control, and she finds herself living with a group of kids who no longer fit into any normal social drawer. Now, she needs to figure out if she's stuck in this predicament as well or can manage to return to 'normality'.

The first chapters greet with Becca's nose dive into insanity. The world and her actions rattle past in a mumbled-jumbled spin, held together by a strange voice named Troy, the Wizard. The author does a great job of bringing across Becca's predicament through Becca's eyes with all the confusion the girl experiences and without ever spelling out exactly what is going on. It's a bit confusing and shattered, but as reality finally draws in a few chapters later, the pieces fall beautifully into place. 

Becca, although out of sorts, comes across pure hearted, honest and raw. As the reasons behind her situation unfold (even to her), everything begins to make sense. Her 'strange' friends offer wonderful companionship and contrast, adding to the richness of the story without every heading off in skew directions. 

It's the simplicity and, at the same time, subtle complexity of the plot which makes this a grabbing read. The truth sinks its teeth in and hits deeper issues without ever really hitting them at all. It's something teenagers will easily sympathize with and are sure to see tiny bits of themselves reflected in not only Becca but the other characters as well. 

Despite the 'depth', the story flows easily, making it a quick read, which feels lighter than it is. If book two is anything like this one, it's sure to be a great read.

And here she is. . .

California native Margaret Lesh lives in a narrow canyon populated by herds of wild burro and packs of coyote. The canyon is also populated with her creative, handsome husband, her feisty mother-in-law, her not-brave-at-all Border Collie, Echo, and sometimes her son (who is away at college. And she is not quite sure how that all happened so fast).
She writes books to entertain young and not-so-young readers as well as herself. She believes tacos are magic.


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