Family of the Tri-Rune Blog Tour

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” — Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies:

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm

“Let’s talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&WAuthor Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter- @cyallowitz

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

An interview and opportunity to win a signed copy from Francis Guenette

The Light Never Lies - ebook cover - Francis L. GuenetteFrancis Guenette - author photo

 Synopsis:

As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.

 

Author Bio:

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. The Light Never Lies is her second novel. Francis blogs over at http://disappearinginplainsight.com and maintains a Facebook author page. Please stop by and say hello.

Read on after the interview to find out more about how you can win a signed copy of this book.

 

Tell us a little about you and your writing projects.

I live on the shores of an isolated lake on Northern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. If you’ve read my books, that will sound familiar. I’ve used this setting as my fictional jumping off spot for the first two novels of The Crater Lake Series – Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies. I’m currently working on the third in the series that is tentatively titled, Chasing Down the Night.

I’ve worked in various areas of education most of my life – lately as a trauma counsellor, earlier with challenged young people. Many of these themes come out in my writing. Because I’ve always had a good sense of humour, even though my books cover some hard-hitting topics, the reader will find more than a few laughs amid the tears.

What first made you decide to become an author? Was there a specific genre you knew you would write in or did it just happen when you began writing?

My way into writing fiction was through a round-about route. I spent a lot of time honing my writing skills in very different arena – academia. Then one day, I ran up against a brick wall. I came home to the lake and wandered the trails for days on end trying to clear my thoughts and figure out why my ability to get on with my current project was so blocked. I found no answer to that question, but in those days of being near the lake and walking, the characters for my first novel popped into my head. The idea of these people and the unique situations they found themselves in took over my thoughts and resulted in an absolute shift from one type of writing to another – from one career to another. I didn’t think at all about genre – I just knew I had to tell the story my characters were clamouring to have told.

Who are some of your literary heroes?

I have always been a big fan of Hemingway – mostly his short stories. To be able to say so much with so few words tends to make a writer heroic, at least in my mind.

If you could have a conversation with any author, alive or passed on, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down and have a chat with J.R. Rowlings about what it was like to start out the way she did and end up where she has gone. How did she find the courage, especially in the beginning, to stay with the writing? Was there a moment when she saw the fame coming? How did she feel? Did the popularity of the first books shape her writing of the last ones? Her rise to fame as a writer fascinates me.

What advice do you have for new authors about publishing and marketing?

Hands down, marketing is the most difficult part of the entire writing process. I chose self-publishing and that has its picky, hair-pulling moments, for sure. The learning curve is steep, but that is nothing compared to the grind that marketing can be. There are so many voices (blogs, books, those who have made it big) telling the new author what to do and it is very difficult to make a wise choice. Advice from those who made it big is almost always out-of-date – things are changing so fast in the realm of self-published book promotion. It seems as though every click on the social media network reveals new sites offering services that will bring one’s book to prominence. Rarely are there any statistics to relate these services to actual sales. It is a buyer-beware market. Okay, lest I sound all doom and gloom here, I do have three small pieces of advice. Hunker down for the long haul, limit time spent on social media, and write your next book.

Anything else you would like the audience to know?

Self-publishing has thrown the gates wide open for all the people who always thought they had a story in them. Now they can tell that story and get it out in the world. This reality is a double-edged sword. For every author who rewrites so many times they’ve lost count, has the money to spend for a discerning editor, good cover design and formatting, there are a dozen others who didn’t think rewrites, or editing, or cover design and formatting are all that important. Or maybe they couldn’t afford such luxury. Either way, if you read widely across the self-publishing spectrum you will definitely find a mixed bag of lemons and gems.

This need not discourage anyone. Quality will always rise – it just takes time. More gatekeepers are not the answer. Readers will decide. They’ll find the books they like and then they’ll come back for more. We writers must produce the most professional product we can and then we just have to be patient. In the words of W.B. Kinsella in his wonderful novel, Shoeless Joe (that became the basis for the movie, Field of Dreams) “If you build it they will come.”

Where can we find you on the various social media outlets?

I blog over on WordPress: http://disappearinginplainsight.com

I have an author Facebook page that I keep up-to-date and topical: https://www.facebook.com/pages/francisguenetteauthor/377139735716267

You can also find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrancisGuenette

And over at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6978213.Francis_L_Guenette

 

*Want to win a signed copy of this great book? All you have to do is comment to be entered in the drawing. One random commenter from this blog tour  will win a copy signed by Francis. Give it a shot, it could be you!

Spice up your April with Harlequin :) A lovely giveaway

If you live in North America and you are interested in a bit of romance and fun for April, take a moment to check out this post.

Here’s what you gotta do to win:

 

Give me the title and author of your very favourite Harlequin book of all time, then tweet, reblog or share this post to your favourite social media outlet! One random winner will be chosen on Thursday, the 17th of April. Please remember that this giveaway is only for those in NORTH AMERICA :)

April is Billionaires month at Harlequin!

 

rev-04_April

 

 

 

 

 

And here is what you can win–I want one too!

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Here are some of the exciting things you can find at Harlequin.com

0514-9780373755219-bigw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1404_hp_fourFriends_mainSo go give the site a look and see if something tickles your fancy.

And here is a calendar of themes for the coming months.

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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think many of us went into reading Doctor Sleep with some form of trepidation. When the central focus of the original book is a hotel–and that hotel is nonexistent at the end of the book, how does one pick up where they left off and write a second book based on that original?

Well…apparently what you do in this case is build a new story off of scant memories and fill in the rest with very imaginative and yet ultimately pretty pointless paranormal characters.

Did I love this book? No!

Why?

For so many reasons. Here are a few:

The Shining scared the Hell clean out of me. I’m not going to get into the Kubrick Vs. King debate here as far as the movies go and the possible hidden meanings (think Room 237,) but I will say that the thing I loved about the original book, was that there was a fine balance of psychological terror and paranormal terror. I didn’t get that from Doctor Sleep. Really, the only time I felt like the book bordered on any kind of reality I could accept was when Dan was remembering the events of the Overlook and his childhood.

Rose the Hat. My, oh my. One of my pet peeves is when an author spends an entire book building up an evil character and then they die a pointless, silly death that never showcases all of the talents they have for being bad. I won’t include a spoiler here to say how or exactly why I feel as I do, but I definitely thought this was a case of “ran out of good ideas,” when it came to the end of her story.

Abra was a spoiled, self-appreciative brat. I want to love the main characters in the books I read, I think we all do. I loved Dan, but I suppose much of that probably came from the already established feelings I had for him. (He was such a little slugger in the first book.) Abra did not impress me much. She was supposed to be such a powerful kid, and yet most of the time she was featured hugging a cuddly toy and taking the advice of others. Had this been a movie, it would have been a situation where the audience members kept saying, “how dumb is this kid?” for getting herself into the situations she did.

I could go on, but I want this review to be balanced, so I will move on to the things I liked.

If I wasn’t looking at this as “The Shining part Two,” I might have felt differently about it. Still, it was an interesting book with a lot of very captivating ideas. I liked that Dan still had some psychic abilities even after he got older and that he was putting them to use in a helpful way.

Azreel the cat was a nice addition to this story and worked well with Dan’s talents.

Whilst I expected there to be more reference to the events in the original story, and was somewhat dismayed that there wasn’t, I appreciated that the grounds where the Overlook stood were used as an important part of this book. I never would have guessed how they were going to be reinvented, and I liked how Rose could sense the evil that lie there, beneath the surface.

The relationships Dan built throughout the course of Doctor Sleep reminded me that he was human and gave me a sense of nostalgia, particularly at the end, when he sees a certain specter.

Typical of Stephen King works, there is a healthy amount of telepathic ability between the characters. Although I found the paranormal aspects of this book more over the top than in the original novel, I also felt the “King vibe” that has been absent in some of the more recent works. His sense of humour and use of irony was ever-present in this book, and that was nice to see.

My overall opinion of Doctor sleep is this: If you are a big fan of Mr. King and in particular of the Shining, you will want to read this to satisfy your curiosity about what happened after the Overlook. You may love it or hate it or, like me, find yourself somewhere in between, but either way you should check it out.

As a standalone novel this might have earned a higher rating from me, but as a book in any way connected to one of the finest horror works in history (my opinion of course,) this did not in any way compare. The feeling of claustrophobic, psychological terror that made the Shining so frightening was absent in this book.

While there may have been 237 reasons to love this book, there were at least 217 reasons not to. It wasn’t the worst book ever, nor the best. 3 stars is my final opinion.

The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

The InheritanceThe Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

When Emma uses blackmail to force her father into giving her the inheritance owing to her early, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of her and her elder sister Kate forever. Although Emma and Kate have grown up on their father’s farm together, they each want two very different things. Emma is fed up with her boring, suffocating lifestyle and longs to break free. Kate by contrast is happy living and working for her father on the farm and can’t understand her sister’s urgency to leave.

With her inheritance, Emma is soon off to London with her wealthy friend Natalie. She begins to live a life of luxury whilst her sister Kate is left hard at work on the farm. But things are not all they seem. Before long Emma is finding that London life is not all roses, whilst Kate is forced to re-evaluate what it is she wants from life. And even though Kate and her father are living in the middle of nowhere, she discovers that a past relationship may pose a present danger to her.

ebook, 156 pages
Published August 27th
2013 by Elaine Jeremiah
The Inheritance
ASIN
B00ESLWOW4
edition language
English

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Score one for setting in this lovely book by Elaine Jeremiah. She did a beautiful job with her descriptions, making this book an easy one to fall into and not leave until the last page was read.

I enjoyed Kate’s story and the mystery that surrounded it, but I have to admit that my heart lie in Emma’s portion of this tale. The author did a brilliant job of blending the various story lines together and making this novel a joy to read. I particularly found myself fascinated by the story of Stephen. I could never quite figure out exactly what was happening with that part of the book until all was resolved. I like it when I can’t guess right.

This story begins after some startling and important events have already happened and offers the reader a chance to know well established characters that are both interesting and fully formed.

The dialogue is written well and the story has a nice pace that is not too rushed, yet not too slow either.

Overall this was an enjoyable book with a lot of excellent qualities to make me comfortable with recommending it. If you are looking for a charming book by a new author, this is one you should consider.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author, all opinions are my own.

Lincoln’s Boy’s by Joshua Zeitz

Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's ImageLincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image by Joshua Zeitz

 

A timely and intimate look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House through the lives of his two closest aides and confidants

Lincoln’s official secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. Hay and Nicolay were the gatekeepers of the Lincoln legacy. They read poetry and attendeded the theater with the president, commiserated with him over Union army setbacks, and plotted electoral strategy. They were present at every seminal event, from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address—and they wrote about it after his death.

In their biography of Lincoln, Hay and Nicolay fought to establish Lincoln’s heroic legacy and to preserve a narrative that saw slavery—not states’ rights—as the sole cause of the Civil War. As Joshua Zeitz shows, the image of a humble man with uncommon intellect who rose from obscurity to become a storied wartime leader and emancipator is very much their creation.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have great respect for this book, having just finished it and now feeling as though I understand things about the former president and those closest to him that I did not before.

It is not a secret that I am somewhat of a Lincoln freak, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I expected this book to be well organised and interesting. What I didn’t expect was the level of careful detail the author included about the lives of John Nicolay and John Hay. He was meticulous in his research and recounting of their lives, and yet this book was not just a string of boring facts.

Looking back into the past through the author’s words was an experience that I shall not soon forget. If you are a fan of historical non-fiction, his book will definitely be one you will want to add to your shelves.

It was fascinating to see where these two men came from and what happened before the careers that they became synonymous with. This book reminds you that even the most powerful and memorable people came from somewhere besides fame.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing AmeliaReconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate’s in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter–now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.

An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

Reconstructing Amelia is about secret first loves, old friendships, and an all-girls club steeped in tradition. But, most of all, it’s the story of how far a mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn’t save.

Fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl will find Reconstructing Amelia just as gripping and surprising.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is definitely one of the best novels I have read this year. This is somewhat of a difficult book to review, as there is so much I want to say, but I want to do so without spoilers.

First of all, if you are a mother, you will feel close to this book from the beginning. Kate’s search for answers about her daughter’s life and death are dramatic, engaging and heartbreaking. Kimberly McCreight is an emotional storyteller. Her characters are realistic, her story concise and her details all lined out to make for a reliably good novel.

There were times whilst reading this book that I found myself so enthralled with the world of Amelia, Sylvia and Kate that I forgot about my own reality. The way the author layered her story, with mystery, young love, hope and desperation and involved so many story lines without making any of it confusing or hard to believe was masterful.

The writing itself was strong and flawless and kept me interested in what was going to happen next all the way through. I was particularly impressed with the way Kate’s character was written. The realisations she had about her successes and failures as a parent were beautiful. Her determination to find out the truth never wavered, and I respected her a lot by the end of the novel.

The teenaged angst, and the mean-girl mentality was displayed in such a bold way, that it made me thankful once more that my children are home schooled. Watching the evolution of a girl into a young woman in this story was incredible. Kudos to the author for understanding what kids go through in this modern world. The involvement of social media and the new “tortures” of daily school life were handled very well.

If you are looking for a book that you won’t want to put down and that you will want to read again, this is one that I absolutely recommend. This review is based on a goodreads firstreads giveaway copy. All opinions are my own.

The Land of Honey by Chinenye Obiajulu

The Land of Honey by Chinenye Obiajulu

9781590951798- Front main (3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Land of Honey by Chinenye Obiajulu, is a very emotionally deep novel about the bonds we form with those we love and the trials we face attempting to make a place for ourselves in this world.

I was impressed with this book early on for a multitude of reasons. The author does a good job explaining things that readers outside of the culture she describes may not recognise, and yet she never makes you feel as though you are being spoken down to. I appreciated that she took so much time introducing the character’s situations, but that she didn’t miss a beat when it came to unfolding the story at the same time.

Immigration is a tough and sensitive subject with many layers and opinions, so setting a book around the subject was a risky choice. I thought she handled it very well. This is a story that is both eye opening and heartfelt.

As the reader, you get to explore the emotions of the characters as well as experience the obstacles they face as the book moves along. The decisions they make throughout this book will make you stop and consider your own choices in life and how they have affected you and those you care for.

One very impressive thing about this author’s writing style is the way she allows her characters the ability to grow and change. You feel as if they have matured and become more aware of themselves by the finish. This, to me, is the sign of a talented author. Her characters are three dimensional and interesting.

This is a book that I think readers of literary fiction will love, and will want to share amongst those who are close to them. I recommend that you read it and see what you think.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

View all my reviews

Journey to Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao

Journey to Rainbow IslandNew York Times Bestseller

Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end—until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island’s Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones—without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.

With the help of her master teacher, Metatron, Yu-ning embarks on a dangerous journey to overcome not only the darkness attacking her home, but also the scars of sadness that mark her own heart. And while most people just see a normal kid, Metatron—and a few other unlikely allies—pledge their lives to the dark-eyed little girl with a magic bow and a crooked grin.Journey to Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the beginning I was on the fence a bit about this book. There are some truly beautiful passages, even within the first couple of chapters, but I didn’t feel that I got to know much about the main character immediately. This prevented me from being able to care about her early on in the story.

As things went on, I found I was surprised by how lighthearted this story is. There is darkness to be fought, but the overall sense of love and peace and equality does not ever fully leave the reader. I thought this was a nice change, especially in fantasy.

This book is a difficult one to place in an age appropriate category. It seems too young and not complicated enough for many adult readers, but a bit longer and deals with deeper subjects than one would expect for a very young audience. I think it will depend on the maturity of the reader and their dedication to the act of reading to decide how they will feel about this work.

Here’s what I really liked:

This author has a strong talent for world building. Her land is filled with magic and wonderful description that puts the reader right there in the scene. She is also very creative and I liked the way she passed from subject to subject with a smooth flow of words and actions.

The book is never boring and the dialogue keeps the reader engaged and understanding the thought processes of the various characters.

There is a lot of emotion in this work and the views of the author on serenity, human relationships and peace are clear in her writing. I enjoyed the interaction between the characters and appreciated the time she spent in creating them. I would have liked to have seen more personal thoughts and history on the main character.

Would I recommend this book? Yes–to certain audiences as mentioned above. I would encourage parents to give this book a read with their children. There will be a lot to provoke discussion as you read.

Overall I thought this was a well-written work with many interesting factors. I like this author’s writing-style and look forward to more of her works.

This review is based on a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.