Recaptains - Remember That 'Thing'?

July 29, 2013

Okay, so you know how I mentioned that I was working on something in my previous post? Something I was very vague about and which drove you crazy with curiosity (yeah, right. Who am I kidding? You didn't even notice it, right?)?

I'm ready to tell you what it was all about!

You see, while I was working on the new feature and the consequent review, I was also working on a detailed recap of the book (Gravity, Book 1 of The Taking series, by Melissa West) for the Recaptains.

Who are these 'Recaptains' you ask?

Let me tell you a story.

Introducing Before I Became A Book Blogger: Gravity by Melissa West

July 26, 2013

Like I've mentioned before, even before I started blogging books at the beginning of this year, I'd been an avid reader for a very, very long time. Like, forever. Seriously. I started reading before I even went to school. So naturally, books have been a huge part of my life, and I've have the chance to read some incredible books along the way. 

Ever since I started book blogging, I've been wanting to find a way to share with y'all the wonderful books I read before I became a book blogger. But, I didn't know how to go about it. A review? Mini review? Spotlight? Tens list? 

So last week, I finally got some free time, and started browsing the blogosphere to see if someone had anything similar already going on. And surprise, surprise! Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner already did! She, by the way is doing an amazing job of basically everything she does on the blog (and elsewhere), and if you're a book blogger or a book blog reader and you dont know about her, I've got just one question for you, my friend: Exactly which rock have you been living under? No offense, but really.

So yeah, Jamie has a feature on her blog, 'Before I Blogged, I Read' where she spotlights some great books she read before she started her blog, with a few notes along with it. Check it out here!

So anyways, here's what this is all about...

INTRODUCING... *drum roll*

before i became a book blogger 

Blog Tour: Along The Watchtower by David Litwick

July 22, 2013

Watchtower Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, both Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack are on sale this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win! To win the prizes:
  1. Pick up Along the Watchtower at its discounted price of $2.99 on Amazon
  2. Get There Comes a Prophet at its discounted price of 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  4. Visit the featured social media events
  5. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.
Along the Watchtower tells of a tragic warrior lost in two worlds; a woman who may be his only way back from Hell.  

Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.  

There Comes a Prophet A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a time of violence and social collapse. Nathaniel has grown up in their world of limits, longing for something more. For what are we without dreams?  

Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.  

David Litwack, the once and future writer, explores the blurry line between reality and the Visit David on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

The Virtual World of Gaming & the Plight of War Veterans
Gaming and war would seem to be as far apart from each other as you can get. But while you’re in the midst of them, they share one thing in common—a sense of being in an alternate reality.
I’ve always been fascinated by how much of what we consider to be reality is subjective, how each of us bring our own experiences and biases into play. But when we’re ripped from our normal lives and placed in extreme circumstances, our reality becomes totally fragmented. Such is the case with hospitals and war.
A couple of years ago, I became engrossed in the online game, World of Warcraft, thanks to my son. I’m on the east coast and he’s on the west, so we’d meet every Wednesday evening in the virtual world of Azeroth, where our avatars would go on quests together. I was struck by how immersed I became in the mood of the game as we wandered through castles and crypts, solving riddles and vanquishing demons, how for a short period of time, I could totally buy in to the alternate reality.
The fantasy gaming experience has a dream-like quality to it, which led me to wonder: how would this experience affect the dreams of someone whose reality has been fragmented by the trauma of war? These concepts—war, hospitals, and the fantasy world of online gaming—came together in Along the Watchtower.
I began to research the effects of war on returning veterans. I learned that 30% are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. That means after six months they’re still dealing with flashbacks, disturbing dreams, depression and difficulty re-assimilating into their former lives. And that doesn’t account for the many others who are seemingly able to adjust but continue to deal with inner turmoil. The war experience changes all forever. Many have suicidal thoughts (the suicide rate among veterans is triple that of the general population. More soldiers have died by their own hand than in the war itself). Many struggle with dark thoughts and have difficulty forming relationships, unable to “turn off” the normal flight or fight syndrome, leaving them suspicious in crowds and always on alert.
And then, there are the physical injuries. One of the ironic successes of these recent wars is the advance in battlefield medicine. The result is that far fewer die of wounds than in prior wars. The ratio of wounded to dead in WWII was 1.1/1, in Vietnam 1.7/1. In Iraq, it’s 7/1. More are saved, but more come home with debilitating, lifelong injuries. And 68% of the wounded have some form or brain trauma, penetrating injuries from shrapnel or non-penetrating concussions from the blasts of IEDs.
To learn more about brain injuries, I read In an Instant, the story of Bob Woodruff. The brilliant Woodruff had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. Then, while embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him. The book describes his recovery and recounts how fragile the human brain can be. At one point, the erudite Woodruff could rattle off the names of all prior U.S. presidents but couldn’t remember the names of his own children.
And I read about post traumatic stress. One of the best books is Achilles in Vietnam. Written by Jonathan Shay, a Vietnam War era PTSD counselor, it compares his clinical notes from patients to the text from Homer’s Odyssey, showing how we as human beings have dealt with war trauma across the millennia. He shows how war disrupts our moral compass, leaving re-entry into normal life as a brutal and agonizing experience.
Playing a make-believe fantasy game and going to war both have a surreal quality that takes us out of our normal reality. But for war veterans, the sense of normality doesn’t return without a struggle.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful organization, dedicated to helping veterans adjust. Their stated mission is: “To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” How successful we’ll be at achieving that goal will tell a lot about who we are. It’s one of the most important stories of our time.

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

July 20, 2013

Title: Right of Way
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 3/5 stars
Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…
The first thing I did when I saw this book was add it to my tbr list, even before I'd read the blurb. I absolutely adored Two Way Street back when I read it. It's one of the books that got me into the YA genre the first time (before I broke up with the genre, and then got back into it), and one that I hold as a YA classic. So when I saw that Right of Way was a companion novel to Two Way Street, I knew I had to read it.

Having read and loved Two Way Street the way I did, I naturally had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, Right of Way did not live up to them.

Read Along: Left From Dhakeshwari by Kunal Sen

I'm super excited to be taking part in this read along of Left From Dhakeshwari, a compilation of short stories written by Kunal Sen!

The interesting thing about this book is that all the stories are linked with each other, so it's not something you can read out of sequence. Everyone says the ending is mind blowing, so I'm really looking forward to that.

The read along will run from 20th July to 17th August. We will have discussion posts and updates every Saturday, according to the schedule below, so join in any time and leave us your thoughts on the book in the comments section!

Here are the read along hosts:

Ankita @ Booklok Coffee (Twitter- @Ankita 0112)
Sarika & Janhvi @ The Readdicts (Twitter - @SarikaP8 and @justjanhvi)
Nimi @ The Readers Cosmos (Twitter- @thereaderscosmos)

 Title: Left From Dhakeshwari
Author: Kunal Sen
Publication date: 2012
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Indian
'Left from Dhakeshwari' is a collection of nine interconnected stories dealing with lust and loneliness, death and obsession, memories and madness.

In the first story, 'We Were Writers', we meet a Bengali film actress, who after her brother’s suicide, returns to her small hometown and reflects upon the life she left behind; in ‘Bomb Church’, Aniruddha tries to piece together his mother’s identity after her mysterious departure; the only clues available in the existential whodunit being: a soap-box, a brown shoe and the statements of five witnesses; while the heartrending 'Salt Lake' recounts an unusual affair between a disfigured girl and a mime-artist with scars of his own.

The other characters in this collection include a runaway teenage-girl, an agoraphobic writer, a masochistic cosmetic surgeon, a ghostess, identical twins and a manic-depressive housewife. And they are all in search, of a time and place they can call their own. That is perhaps why the title itself, denotes both a time and a place: a point of departure and the forbearer of journeys.

In his first solo book, Kunal Sen infuses his women with souls of poetesses and a seductive melancholy and arms his men with child-like, romantic sadism. 'Left from Dhakeshwari' is written in a style that straddles between the tragic-dramatic and mildly surrealistic, but remains in the end a book about some remarkably original people and their depths and failings.
Doesn't that sound intriguing?! I cant wait to get started!

Review: Love is A Thief by Claire Garber

July 16, 2013

Title: Love is A Thief
Author: Claire Garber
Publication date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin (UK) Limited
Genre: Chick lit
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
What did you miss out on because you fell in love?

I might just be ‘that’ girl. You know the one. The girl who, for no particular reason, doesn’t get the guy, doesn’t have children, doesn’t get the romantic happy ever after. So I needed to come up with a plan.

What did I like doing? What didn’t I get to do because I fell in love? What would I be happy spending the rest of my life doing if love never showed up again?

Kate Winters is going on a journey to do all the things that love has snatched from her and her friends, to reclaim her dreams and theirs in the hope of finding her future. But there’s a chance that new dreams are better than the old…
 There comes a time in all of our lives when we question everything that we've ever done. When we wonder... what happened to all those dreams I had? Did I give them up? But for what? For some thing, or worse, for someone? Did someone steal my dreams? When I've given up my dreams, what is it that I have for myself at the end of the day?

After being dumped by her French fiance whom she thought was 'the one', Kate Winters finds herself thinking these exact thoughts. Maybe love took these away from her? With even the mention of his name or a sympathetic 'Oh, I heard what happened' bringing on the waterworks, Kate is definitely not at the top of things.  And the irony of her tragic story is that she is now working at a magazine called True Love of all things! Yeah, life certainly isn't kind.

This gets her thinking of all the other women around the world who have also had to give up something for love. And so she launches a campaign 'Love Stolen Dreams' inviting all readers to join her in her journey of taking back her dreams by sending in their love stolen dreams, suggesting what she should do next, and maybe going on their own Love Quests.

Love is A Thief by Claire Garber quote

I'll tell you one thing. It is humanly impossible to read this book and not burst into laughter (no matter where you are) atleast once. The author's writing style is very candid and conversational. You may think that's part of the package, since the story is written in first person, but there are several books that dont give you that 'in' into the character's ( (though sometimes, the characters just keep going on and on, and just dont stop) head like Love is A Thief does. For a debut author, she's done a marvelous job of it!

What I loved about this book was how unique it is in it's approach to love. Yes, it starts out with Love as the enemy, stealing dreams left and right, and something you've got to fight against. As the book went on, I wondered, though, that maybe it was taking this 'Love stole my dreams' idea a bit too far. It could have been the person themselves who maybe grew out of the dream, or maybe the dream was not a correct fit for them, or maybe the fault lies in themselves for not pursuing their dreams. Why blame Love or their partners? These questions were put to rest later, as the author addresses these issues as the story progresses.

Every chapter begins with a short story. Either a love story dream or two, or a story from Kate's past. The love stolen dreams make for interesting and insightful reading, though there are some pointless and hilarious ones thrown in as well.

Love is A Thief Claire Garber quote

In her stories, Kate divulges a bit about her childhood best friend Peter Parker, who has now returned to London with a Ph.D., after 15 years of radio silence.

Peter Parker is an intriguing character. He kind of, kind of reminded me of Darcy. There's that same restraint in him, of words and emotion, and he seems to hold himself the same way too, a little aloof from his fellow mortals. Because of which, when he unwinds enough to express his feelings, it makes for a very intense scene. Though there is plenty of attraction between the two right from the start, the focus is more on the LSD, with this playing only a side role.

I loved how the author made Kate question her ideas of love, and herself, and come up with answers that were probably the ideas she thought she had, but ended up with her coming the really know herself. I love how she came to this idea of love especially, because it was as if she took it right out of my head:

I was sad to see this book end, but I was happy about the ending, which wasn't exactly a happliy-ever-after in the conventional sense, but a happily-ever-after nevertheless.

Bottomline: Love is A Thief can double as chick lit and self help, with it's hilarious and head on approach to live and love. Claire Garber has succeeded in writing a book that will provide comfort, laughter and lessons to women everywhere.

*A copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Ashes, Ashes by Julie Bellon Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

July 13, 2013

Title: Ashes, AshesAuthor: Julie Bellon
Publication date: May 30, 2013
Genre: Suspense
Amazon  | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty? Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth. Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?  
Top Ten Perks of Being An Author

#10 I get to name my characters all the names my husband didn't want to name our children.

#9 I get free therapy in writing characters based on the people who have been mean to me and having them conquered by the hero/heroine.

#8 I can write what rarely happens in real life---the happy ending.

#7 I get to meet a lot of great people, from fans to aspiring writers to fellow writers.

#6 I can create something meaningful to me, a story that will stand long after I'm gone. Holding the book I wrote in my hand is a great feeling.

#5 I get to choose my own hours and can work my career around my family.

#4 I can use my influence as an author for good and start things like Skittles for Soldiers, where we collected over 700 lbs of food and hygiene items at my book signings that was sent overseas for our troops.

#3 I get to do research for my books and go to amazing places around the world. Just so my books will feel authentic and all. :)

#2 I am never bored because of my vivid imagination. Every situation can become a story scenario by asking myself questions like, "what would happen if terrorists broke in right now?" "What if the woman next to me is spying on someone else here?" Things like that keep my life interesting no matter where I am.

#1 Receiving fan mail is probably the best thing ever. I keep the letters/emails in a special book so when I get a bad review or am having a bad writing day I can look at those and see that I made a difference to someone and all the blood, sweat, and tears of writing is worth it, even if it was just for that one person.
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/24/13 
About The Author
Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love's Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All's Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.
She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent's Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards---What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.
She is the mother of eight children and when she's not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she's found.

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

July 12, 2013

Title: Saving Ben
Author: Ashley Farley
Publication date: January 31, 2013
Publisher: Create Space
Genre: New Adult, Mystery
Amazon Goodreads
A boy, his sister, and her psycho college roommate.

Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath.

When Katherine’s obsessive-compulsive overprotective brother succumbs to Emma’s charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save Ben from himself. Lives are threatened and someone disappears on New Year’s Day. The only evidence left: a single set of footprints in the snow.

From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.
Ten Do's and Dont's When You Have A Psychopath For A Roomate
1. Don’t introduce her to your sorority sisters.

2. Don’t lend her your scissors. She may use them to stab you in the back.

3. Don’t leave her alone with your boyfriend, and never let her date your brother.

4. Don’t take her home to meet your parents. They may like her more than you.

5. Don’t let her borrow your clothes. She might look better in them than you.

6. Do invite her to your New Years party. She will show up uninvited if you don’t.

7. Do sleep with one eye open at all times.

8. Do hide your diamond stud earrings in your tennis racquet case.

9. Don’t let her pour the champagne unless you want to be drugged.

10. Do lend her money for a train ticket home for Thanksgiving. She will ruin your family holiday if you don’t.

3 signed paperback copies (US only), 2 ebook copies (INTL), and a $25.00 amazon gift card (INTL).

About The Author

I wrote a novel, SAVING BEN, in honor of my brother, the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. It’s not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

I'm a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have lived in Richmond, Virginia, for seventeen years, a city I love for its history and traditions. Personal experience with my brother inspired me to become involved with the leadership symposium in my son’s school where I’ve helped bring in speakers to raise parents’ awareness of the alcohol and drug problems children face. When I’m not steering volunteer committees or working on my next novel, I can be found swimming laps or playing tennis.

Losing Francesca by J A Huss Blog Tour

July 10, 2013

Title: Losing Francesca
Author: J A Huss
Publication date: July 1, 2013

Genre:  Mature Young Adult, Contemporary
Francesca Sabatini came to America to take in the sights, celebrate her high school graduation, and have fun wasting time before college starts in the fall.

That’s not what happens.

Fresh off the plane and barely on American soil more than a handful of minutes, Francesca’s face is recognized by TSA scanners to be a match for a child who was kidnapped twelve years ago.

Brody Mason remembers the day Fiona Sullivan went missing during a family vacation in Italy and it’s haunted him his whole life. So when Francesca shows up at the Sullivan farm down the road, he’s compelled to figure out if this girl really is his long lost friend.

But Francesca knows she’s not Fiona Sullivan. She knows exactly who she is. At least she thinks she knows – until Brody Mason relentlessly pursues her and she begins to have feelings for him. Maybe being Fiona isn’t so bad?

Reality becomes blurred, secrets are revealed, and life will never be the same when the final questions are answered: Is she Francesca or Fiona? And where does she really belong?

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He continues to look at my eyes. Only my eyes. And then he exhales and I realize he's been holding his breath. "What. Is. Your. Name?"

He says it very slow, like I can't understand English.

And then it hits me, he doesn't know I understand English. The look on my face must be confusion, because he repeats it again, even slower. I almost laugh at him this time, but I hold it in. He's having a very serious moment and it would be extremely bad manners to laugh right now.

"Mi chiamo Francesca Sabatini."

He smiles. "Francesca?"


"You are like a flower, Francesca."

I blush and try to look away, but his hands are still cupping my face.

"You are so beautiful, I don't even know what to say."

I try to change the subject so I point to his chest and say, "Come ti chiami?"

He breathes out again and looks a little sad. He's disappointed that I had to ask but he catches himself quickly. "Brody, Brody Mason."

"Brody Mason," I repeat, trying on my best Italian accent. Of the infamous Mason boys, I don't add. But it is a nice name.

"Do you remember me?"

I shake my head to pretend I don't understand.

He drops his hands and I study his bare chest for a moment. He must not have realized he was shirtless because he plucks a shirt from his waistband and quickly tugs it over his head, pulling it down the way boys do, so that it slides past their stomach muscles and drives us girls crazy.

He is a very beautiful boy. Man. He's definitely not a boy.

And then it gets silent and soon after, it gets weird. He just stands there looking at me.

I'm just about to wander over to the door and open it to get him to leave—because no matter how beautiful he is, he definitely needs to go, and soon—but then he starts talking.

"I don't know if you remember me," he says softly. "But I would definitely like a chance to get to know you, Francesca."

The author, J A Huss, is giving away a A Love as deep as the Ocean necklace and a signed copy of Losing Francesca (INTL)

Enter the rafflecopter below, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.
Author links:

Blog Tour: Anomaly by Krista McGee

July 9, 2013

 Title: Anomaly
Author: Krista McGee
Publication date: June 9, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?
My Writer's Routine
• Brew a full pot of coffee
• Read my Bible
• Stay in my pj’s (comfy=creative)
• Make cup of coffee #1
• Open the blinds so I can see outside
• Check my e-mail
• Check my Facebook
• Make cup of coffee #2
• Check e-mail and Facebook again, just in case something came up in the last 10 minutes that I might need to know
• Check the library website to see if the books I requested are on hold yet
• Open the folder that contains the book I am working on
• Make cup of coffee #3
• Remind myself that three cups of coffee in one hour makes me sick and I shouldn’t do it again
• Pour a big glass of water to dilute all the caffeine in my system
• Take a bathroom break
• Eat breakfast
• One more check of my Facebook and e-mail
• A mental flogging that I have now wasted an hour and half of precious writing time drinking coffee and checking Facebook
• Maximize my Word document and begin where I left off
• (Unless it’s been a while, then I need to read the whole thing again to remind myself where I was)
• Write nonstop for about three hours – not speaking to anybody, but occasionally checking Facebook
• Stand up and stretch, grab a Coke Zero and a snack
• Write nonstop for another three hours
• Decide that, since it is now after 3pm, I should get out of my pj’s
• Change into real clothes and thus lose all creative power


About The Author
Krista McGee’s passion to see teens excited about serving God is a driving force behind her novels. Ever since college when she spent a summer working at a youth camp, McGee knew she wanted to invest in teenagers. Since then she’s been involved in a variety of youth ministries and currently teaches at a Christian school in Tampa, FL.

McGee broke into the writing world during her time in Spain. A friend encouraged her to submit an article to a Christian girls’ magazine, and it got published. Once her family moved back to Tampa, she got the idea for her first novel, First Date, a modern take of the story of Esther. Her subsequent books, Starring Me and Right Where I Belong, are based on Rebekah and Ruth.

When Krista McGee isn’t living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher and coffee snob.

Learn more about Krista McGee and her books at Readers can also become a fan on Facebook (krista.a.mcgee) or follow her on Twitter (@KristaMcGeeYA).

You can find Krista here:

Once Upon A Read-a-Thon Sign Up & Updates #OUReadathon

July 8, 2013

I had completely forgotten about it, and had it not been for Candice's post on Facebook, I wouldn't have remembered either!

I've entered in the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon hosted by Candice at Candice's Book Blog, Lori at Pure Imagination and Angela & Loretta at Reading Angels. Go on and say hi! to them at their blogs and check them out (their blogs, i.e.) while you're there! They all rock :)

Okay, so here's what I've got for the read-a-thon.

Reading Goals

- Runaway Groom by Sally Clements
- Love is A Thief by Claire Garber (review book that I have GOT to finish)
- Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
- The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

I'll probably just get two to three books done, since I've got college and tests and assignments (shit! I just remembered I have one due tomorrow!) and a seminar due Thursday as well. Wow, my life does seem pretty busy, doesn't it? LOL

And if I get the first two done, I'll choose between Wild Awake and The Distance Between Us for the third, depending upon my mood.

Day 1:

Read: Runaway Groom by Sally Clements

Mini Challenge @ Cover2CoverBlog

1. Which book you are most excited to read in the coming year? It can be already released or coming soon.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth and Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

2. Which book would you re-read if you had the time and weren't so busy reading ALL of the other good thing?

All the Harry Potter books at a stretch!

3. and lastly, If you could meet any fictional character who would it be and why?
Harry Potter. Because, umm... he's Harry Potter?
And I'd love to meet Jo March from the Little Women books by Louisa May Alcott. She was my favourite from the family :)

Mini Challenge @ BookBFF on YouTube: Book BFF Challenge

Pooja @ On Books! is the one who got me into book blogging in the first place. She used to be my senior at college, & we kind of clicked immediately because both of us love books & are kind of shy (though she's a lot more 'out there' than I) & love to write as well. I never used to have anyone to discuss books with AND she helps me out with blog stuff too, which is great! She's perfect! :D

My other book BFF is Aaliya. We bonded over Batman. You know the kind of friend who is the same as you in so many ways its creepy? That's her! I swear, the number of things we have in common, you'd think we'd get over the coincidence, right? But we still get shocked every time we discover another one!

Though we more or less live in the same place (Pooja has temporarily moved to Pondicherry for her Masters course in Psychology), we chat a lot more on Facebook than we do in real life, and we actually have this chatroom called 'The Rita Skeeter, Bambi and LB Book Club'. Yeah, those are our sort of nicknames. Dont ask.

Day 2:

Read: Love is A Thief by Claire Garber

Mini Challenge @ Better Read Than Dead

You're in a bookstore and you've just purchased 5 books you've been dying to read, when the apocalypse hits. (Zombie, Demons, Vampires, Dean Winchester vs. Sam Winchester (yes, I'm watching Supernatural reruns) I don't care what apocalypse). You've got one chance at survival, what 2 books do you take and what 3 other items do you take?

Two books: (they have to be one's that I'm dying to read, right?) Allegiant by Veronica Roth (because it could probably help me out, under the circumstances) and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (I simply cant seem to find the time to read this book when my life is normal, so I figure I'll probably have plenty of free time to read it when I'm hiding away in an abandoned building, plotting the downfall of the zombies)

3 other items: Kindle! (I will have one when this apocalypse hits), pencil (I ALWAYS need to have something to write with), lots and lots of paper (ok, this is probably lame, but it's really important for me to have something to write on).

Feature & Follow Friday #9

July 5, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee at Parajunkee & Alison at Alison Can Read.

Question of this Week:
Today’s is the US’ Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it, or an overthrow of the government.

My Answer:
First off, to all the Americans out there, Happy Independence Day!

And now... for a book series with both war AND overthrowing of a government in it - The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini!

The Inheritance Cycle:
Book 1: Eragon
Book 2: Eldest
Book 3: Brisingr
Book 4: Inheritance

I'm so excited to be writing about The Inheritance Cycle books over here finally! I've been meaning to write about it for a long time, but umm this is me we're talking about, so naturally, it never happened.

I got introduced to them by a friend of mine, who actually recommended the movie version of the first book Eragon. Before I could watch the movie, one day while browsing at the bookstore, I found the book, and after seeing the thickness of it, I couldn't resist, and bought both Eragon and Eldest. I finished them both within a couple of days and man, was I blown over by their brilliance!

There are several things I love about these books, but here are a few:

- The author. I mean, really, he started writing it when he was 16! 16, people! Most of us are just goofing around, wasting time at that age! But you know what the coolest thing is? You don't see evidence of his age in the book. There is nothing that would point to immaturity or lack of experience or underdeveloped writing skills. In fact, I thought it was written by a very much older author until I got to the end and read the author bio.

- The writing. One of the best I've read. Ever. Every scene is so meticulously thought out and planned without losing out on a single aspect. Right from the weather to the character's clothing, everything is accounted for. You know I like my end tied well, tight, so this was great! And his writing style! I loved it! There were times that it could've gotten tedious, but his writing was what kept it from going over that edge.

- The story. I loved how he gradually brought in more points of view and narrations to the story, and how each character had a steady growth throughout the series, even the minor ones. And the research that he has done for the book is simply astounding when you imagine the amount of information he would have had to read, understand and then incorporate into the book. The sword making scene especially, drives this home. I love the fact that he was brave enough to write a slightly bittersweet ending. I for one was majorly angry at the end of the book, and didnt touch it again for a few days. It's a well known fact that people love happy endings and that's what sells the most. But Paolini did not shy away from breaking away from all that and writing the story in the manner he deemed suitable.

The Inheritance Cycle is one series that I would  recommend to anyone at all. It also happens to be the one series that I own all the books of. I would say it comes second only to Harry Potter in my list of favourite fantasy books, so you know it's really great.

Read it.

What about you?
Which book did you pick this week?
And have you read The Inheritance Cycle? What do you think about it?
Leave me a comment below with a link to your FF post and I'll make sure to stop by! :)

P.S.: You can follow me via GFC, Google+, Bloglovin', Networked Blogs, Linky or Facebook! Many thanks in advance! :D 

 I'm on Twitter as well now!
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Book Blitz: Rising Sun, Falling Star by Vickie Hall

July 2, 2013

Different eyes and skin Mock me from the mirror’s light Enemy am I. Dec 7, 1941 Today my life changed forever . . . I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . . The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.” Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another. When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever. Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction. 

rising sun tour
Author Vickie Hall Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.

  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/2/13
The Giveaway is organized by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and sponsored by the autor